Advanced Reactor Development and Technology
Argonne has traditionally been the foremost Laboratory in the U.S. for the development of technologies for advanced nuclear power systems, including liquid metal coolant technologies. Argonne is currently pursuing the development of an advanced nuclear energy system based on a fast-spectrum, liquid metal-cooled reactor utilizing metal fuel in a recycle mode based on an electrometallurgical process. The power plant in the system is called the Advanced Fast Reactor (AFR).
The Heavy Liquid Metal Coolant (HLMC) reactor research initiative is also underway as another element of ongoing efforts at Argonne to develop advanced reactor technologies. This concept is intended to be a low-cost contender for commercial electricity production. The approach is to achieve capital operating cost savings through extreme measures of simplifying the system.
Generation IV nuclear energy systems target significant advances over current-generation and evolutionary systems in the areas of sustainability, safety and reliability, and economics. Development of Generation IV systems is a U.S.-led international activity. A group of ten nations, including France, Japan, Korea, the UK, and Canada, are participating in the planning and development of Generation IV systems under the auspices of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). In the U.S., Argonne and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) provide technical leadership and coordination of the Generation IV initiative for the Department of Energy.
Consistent with the goals of DOE, Argonne is also playing an active role in leading edge investigations sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative and the International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative. Important programs in advanced reactor and fuel cycle concepts, investigations of fundamental phenomenology of significant importance to these designs and the development of advanced analytical methods to support design and analysis are key elements in this area. Support for currently operating reactors and evolutionary LWR designs continues to be an important element in the Laboratory's program. Nuclear Energy Plant Optimization projects in the areas of steam generator tubing diagnostics and on-line monitoring on non-redundant sensors are underway.
Last Modified: Fri, April 9, 2010 3:28 PM