ECN publication
Inherent veilige kenmerken van innovatieve kernreactoren [ECN-C--95-110]
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ECN-C--95-110 ECN publication
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The added safety value of innovative or third generation reactor designshas been evaluated in order to determine the most suitable candidate for Dutch government funded research and development support. To this end, four innovative reactor concepts, viz. PIUS (Process Inherent Ultimate Safety), PRISM (Power Reactor Innovative Small), HTR-M (High Temperature Reactor Module) and MHTGR (Modular High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor), have been studied and their passive and inherent safety characteristics have been outlined. Also the outlook for further technological and industrial development has been considered. The results of the study confirm the perspective of the innovative reactors for reduced dependence on active safety provisions and for a further reduced vulnerability to technical failures and human errors. The accident responses to generic accident initiators, viz. reactivity and cooling accidents, and also to reactor specific accidents show that neither active safety systems nor short term operator actions are required for maintaining the reactor core in a controlled and coolable condition. Whether this gives rise to a higher total safety of the innovative reactor designs, compared to evolutionary or advanced reactors, cannot be concluded. Supplementary experimental and analytical analyses of reactor specific accidents are required to be able to assess the safety of these innovative designs in a more quantitative manner. It is believed that the safety case of innovative reactors, which are less dependent on active safety systems, can be communicated with the general public in a more transparent way. Considering the perspective for further technological and industrial development it is not expected that any of the considered innovative reactor concepts will become commercially available within the next one to two decades. However, they could be made available earlier if they would receive sufficient financial backing. Considering the added safety perspectives of the considered innovative designs with passive safety features and increased simplicity, the modular gas-cooled reactors offer the best option for support. 5 figs., 4 tabs., 11 refs., 7 appendices

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