In a Generation IV system there is need for reactors operating using a fast neutron spectrum together with thermal reactors.
In the case of these fast reactors several approaches are suggested both relating to the coolant and the fuel. An understanding of these parts as well as their interactions are vital to the safe operation of the reactors. Suggested fuel types include oxides, nitrides, carbides, MgO based CRCER and Mo based CERMET fuels. The recyclability of these fuels is investigated in a large scale EU project, ASGARD, which is coordinated from our group.
Regarding our own work the focus is on
investigating production routes for nitrides and oxides using the sol gel approach. This is also connected to the final repository research where the fabrication of special fuels will allow for simulating the fuel in the repository at different times from the emplacement.
The other part of the reactor system that we are involved in is the coolant. There are several different options including molten sodium, molten lead, molten lead/bismuth and gas, like helium. Our focus lies in the interactions of both nitride and oxide fuels with molten lead and lead/bismuth.