Abstract:

NUCLEAR PROBLEMS OF NON-AQUEOUS FLUID-FUEL REACTORS

October 15. 1952

Authors:

  • Clark Goodman
  • John L. Greenstadt
  • Robert M. Kiehn
  • Abraham Klei

Consultants :

    • Harvey Brooks
    • Henry W. Newson

NUCLEAR ENGINEERING PROJECT
MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

Introduction

The primary purpose of the Nuclear Engineering Project a tM.I.T. during the summer of 1952 was to investigate the problems of reactors using non-aqueous fluid fuels for the production of plutonium and to recommend a program of research and development to supply the information needed to provide a sound basis for the engineering of this important type of reactor. Aqueous fluid-fuels are receiving attention atOak Ridge and elsewhere.

The results of this Project are being described in three companion reports.

1. “Engineering Analysis of Non-Aqueous Fluid-Fuel Reactors” – (MIT-5002),

2. “ChemicalProblemsofNon-AqueousFluid-Fuel Reactorst1- (MIT-5001), and

3. This report.

The first of these reports describes the objectives of the Project, the lines of investigation pursued, and the main conclusionsdrawn, Itdescribesindetailtheengineering studiescarriedoutbytheProjectandthebasesforthem. It summarizes all recommendations for future research and development.

The second of these reports describes the chemical studies conducted by the Project and gives details of the program of chemical and chemical engineering research re- commended by it.

The present report treats the nuclear studies conducted by theProject. The basic nuclear data and design methods are described and the results of the nuclear studies are given in detail. A research program on nuclear properties of importance to non-aqueous fluid – fuel reactors is recommended.

Chapter I of this report outlines the considerations which led to the choice of two reactors for detailed study by the Project:

A fast converter using as fuel a solution of UCl4 in fused chlorides A thermal converter using as fuel a liquid alloy of U in Bi, and lists them in characteristics of each reactor. Nuclear studies on the fast and thermal reactors are described in Chapters II and III,respectively. ChapterIV compares the two reactors. The Appendices contain details o f calculation methods, and the results of nuclear studies not directly related to the reactor processes given engineering study.

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