Current Status of SFR Neutronic Modeling and Analysis Work at Argonne
There has been growing interest in Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR) with the construction of prototypes in China, India, and Russia, and the development of projects in Korea and France. Argonne has taken an active role in the development of this technology through international collaborations, in particular with France on the OECD/NEA SFR task-force neutronic benchmark and on the neutronic and safety analyses for the ASTRID project. This seminar will discuss the different tools and strategies of participants in the reactor physics area, within the context of these collaborations. The first part focuses on discrepancies in the nuclear evaluation data files of JEFF-3.1 and ENDF/B-VII.
The impact on the core reactivity due to the use of the cross sections generated from different evaluation nuclear data files was analyzed and it was found that plutonium and sodium are the two main contributors to the observed reactivity differences. The second part explains the strategy developed in France with ASTRID, a large SFR core (600 MW electrical) that relies on mixed-oxide fuels to reach a negative sodium void worth. While the CEA is currently working to improve its accidental transient behavior, an innovative annular type of the metallic fuel concept is being proposed by Argonne that improves both inherent safety and core performance while maintaining a negative sodium void worth.