Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

Small power lead fast reactor for purposes of education

10/23/2015 2015 - #03 Physics and technology of nuclear reactors

Samokhin D.S. Khorasanov G.L. Tormyshev I.V. Zemskov E.A. Gostev A.L. Terehova A.M. Kuz’michyov S.A.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2015.3.14

UDC: 621.039.526:621.039.59

At several higher schools oriented to nuclear power engineering small power nuclear reactors for training and education, for example the reactor IRT at the National Research Nuclear University «MEPhI» in Moscow, project of the reactor ELECTRA at the Kungliga Tekniska Hogscolan in Stockholm, are used or proposed.

In this paper a reactor on fast neutrons for researching, teaching students and postgraduate students for skillful of controlling innovative lead fast reactor (LFR), training specialists for nuclear scientific centers and nuclear power plants is proposed.

The appearance and main characteristics of the LFR cooled with liquid lead and fueled with the dioxide of uranium, UO2, well industrially developed and contained the fissile uranium isotope 235U with 19.7% enrichment, are given. Hard neutron spectrum which can be achieved in the LFR with a smallsized core and a coolant from natural lead, and in perspective from lead enriched with its low neutron moderating stable isotope 208Pb, will allow solving several research tasks in the case of neutron flow densities of order of 1013 neutron/cm2·s. For safe reactor controlling, its relatively small thermal power equal to 0.5 MW is considered. The possibility of the reactor runaway on prompt neutrons is excluded due to the small stock of reactivity which is less than the effective share of delayed neutrons of the fissile fuel, βeff .The fuel burning at the nominal power, 0.5 MW, will be around 140 grams of 235U per one year (280 effective days). In operating at this small power, the reactivity damping will be equal to 36 pcm per one year. It allows expanding the reactor exploitation company up to 20 effective years under the conditions when the stock of reactivity is less than the share of delayed neutrons, βeff, which is equal to 720 pcm for the fuel from UO2.

The study is based on the experience obtained at the Obninsk Institute for Nuclear Power Engineering, National Research Nuclear University «MEPhI» in developing small power reactors and on the experience obtained at the Institute for Physics and Power Engineering named after A.I. Lejpunskij in developing fast reactors with heavy liquid metal coolants.


  1. Atomic Center MEPhI, history of the reactor MEPhI. [Electronic resource] Avaiable at http://mephi.ru/science/units/Research_nuclear_reactor/ (access mode: 21.06.2015).
  2. Wallenius J., Suvdantsetseg E., Borrot S., Pukari M., Jolkkonen M., Claisse A., Olsson P., Ejenstam J., Szakalos P. ELECTRA: A Lead Cooled Reactor for Training and Education. Proceedings of the fourth conference «Heavy liquid metal coolants in nuclear technologies» (HLMC-2013). In 2 volumes. Obninsk: SSC RF-IPPE. 2014, v. 1, pp. 29-42.
  3. Kazansky Yu.A., Levchenko V.A., Matusevich E.S., Yurev Yu.S., Balakin I.P., Belugin V.A., Dorokhovich S.L., Kazantsev A.A., Tikhonenko A.V., Travleev A.A.. Uvarov A.A. Samoreguliruemyj reactor sverhmaloj moshnosti dlya teplosnabzheniya «MASTER-IATE». [Self-controlled low power reactor for heat supply «MASTER-IATE».] Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2003, No 3, pp.63-71 (in Russian).
  4. Nikulin E.V., Sobolev A.V., Volkov Yu.V. Otsenka pokazatelej bezopasnosti dlya reaktora tipa MBIR s pomoschyu koda RELAP. [Safety assessment for the MBIR reactor using the RELAP code.] Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2014, No 3, pp.35-42 (in Russian).
  5. Briesmeister J.F. MCNP – A General Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code, Version 4B, LA– 12625–M, Los Alamos National Laboratory, March, 1997.
  6. Chadwick M.B., Herman M., Oblozinsky P., et al. ENDF/B-VII.1 nuclear data for science and technology: Cross sections, covariances, fission product yields and decay data. Nuclear Data Sheets, 2011, v. 112, No 12, pp. 2887-2996.
  7. Voronkov A.V., Arzhanov V.I. Principles of creating the package REACTOR. Preprint of the Institute for the Applied Mathematics named after M.V. Keldysh. 1995, No 2, 15 p.
  8. Rusanov A., Levin O., Gushchina A., Dvoryashin A., Lysova G., Sugonyaev V., Shulepin S., Piankova H. Corrosion resistance of EP823 steel fuel pin claddings examined in the Pb-Bi coolant flow. Proceedings of the fourth conference «Heavy liquid metal coolants in nuclear technologies» (HLMC-2013). In 2 volumes. Obninsk: SSC RF-IPPE. 2014, v. 1, pp. 278-287.
  9. Khorasanov G.L., Korobeynikov V.V., Ivanov A.P., Blokhin A.I. Minimization of an initial fast reactor uranium-plutonium load by using enriched lead-208 as a coolant. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2009, v. 239, No 9, pp. 1703-1707.
  10. Khorasanov G. , Blokhin A. Neutron spectrum hardening in critical and subcritical reactors cooled with lead-208. Proceedings of the fourth conference «Heavy liquid metal coolants in nuclear technologies» (HLMC-2013). In 2 volumes. Obninsk: SSC RF-IPPE. 2014, v. 2, pp. 503-508.

lead fast reactor education and training small thermal power small stock of reactivity fuel hard neutron spectrum

Link for citing the article: Samokhin D.S., Khorasanov G.L., Tormyshev I.V., Zemskov E.A., Gostev A.L., Terehova A.M., Kuz’michyov S.A. Small power lead fast reactor for purposes of education. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2015, no. 3, pp. 135-143; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2015.3.14 (in Russian).