2023 journal article

A Design and Optimization Methodology for Liquid Metal Fast Reactors

International Journal of Energy Research.

Ed(s): A. Kuzmin

Source: ORCID
Added: March 9, 2023

A liquid metal fast reactor (LMFR) design and optimization methodology (DOM) has been developed. The methodology effectively explores a search space by initially sampling the search space, excluding invalid design samples prior to performing expensive multiphysics analysis, and then performing local searches of the design space. The design samples are evaluated using the multiphysics capabilities of the LUPINE LMFR simulation suite. Two studies have been performed to demonstrate DOM. First, the Westinghouse long-life core lead fast reactor (WLFR) is optimized. This reactor is 950 MW th and fueled with uranium nitride (UN) fuel which has a natural nitrogen isotopic abundance. The objective of the optimization is the reduction of the levelized fuel cycle cost (LFCC) while complying with the design constraints. Considering the challenges associated with using natural nitrogen in nitride fuel, a second study was performed to design a competitive 15N-enriched UN-fueled long-life core LFR. Based on this design, the cost of the 15N enrichment process necessary to achieve a competitive LFCC was calculated.