DEPARTMENT OF NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
Research activities ongoing in the Advanced Reactor Design and Fuel Cycle Analysis Group of UC Berkley will be reviewed. The group research thrust is to improve the sustainability of nuclear energy by increasing the utilization of the uranium and thorium fuel resources, and by minimizing the amount and toxicity of the high level waste, along with improving the economics, safety, and proliferation resistance of nuclear energy. Four innovative design approaches will be briefly described: (1) achieving sustainability using thorium fueled reduced moderation boiling water reactors (RBWR); (2) neutron efficient seed-and-blanket sodium cooled fast reactor cores that benefit from the breed-and-burn (once-through) mode of operation using existing technology and enable new promising fuel cycle options; (3) 3-D fuel shuffling in large breed-and-burn fast reactor cores for doubling their fuel utilization and reducing the radiation damage to the fuel cladding; and (4) an engineered autonomous reactivity control system for improved safety and economics of fast reactors. The presentation will focus on describing the unique features of these concepts and explaining the fundamentals behind the performance improvements they offer.
Ehud Greenspan is a Professor of the Graduate School at the Nuclear Engineering Department of UC Berkeley