Improving Fuel Cycle Design and Safety Characteristics of a Gas Cooled Fast Reactor

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The Generation IV Forum is an international nuclear energy research initiative aimed at developing the fourth generation of nuclear reactors, envisaged to enter service halfway the 21st century. One of the Generation IV reactor systems is the Gas Cooled Fast Reactor (GCFR), the subject of study in this publication. The Generation IV reactor concepts should improve all aspects of nuclear power generation. Within Generation IV, the GCFR concept specifically targets sustainability of nuclear power generation. The Gas Cooled Fast Reactor core power density is high in comparison to other gas cooled reactor concepts. Like all nuclear reactors, the GCFR produces decay heat after shut down, which has to be transported out of the reactor under all circumstances. The layout of the primary system therefore focuses on using natural convection Decay Heat Removal (DHR) where possible, with a large coolant fraction in the core to reduce friction losses.