The Azimuth Project
Generation IV technologies (changes)

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Contents

Introduction

Nuclear reactors have been classified into generations. Gen III are the best ones that are currently available; Gen IV are the contenders for the next generation and due to come online between 2020 and 2030.

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The Generation IV International Forum curently comprises representatives of 14 countries. They have selected a group of six reactor technologies as worthy of further study.

Gen IV Types

  • Gas-Cooled Fast Reactor (GFR)

features a fast-neutron-spectrum, helium-cooled reactor and closed fuel cycle;

  • Very-High-Temperature Reactor (VHTR)

a graphite-moderated, helium-cooled reactor with a once-through uranium fuel cycle;

  • Super-Critical-Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR)

a high-temperature, high-pressure water-cooled reactor that operates above the thermodynamic critical point of water;

features a fast-spectrum, sodium-cooled reactor and closed fuel cycle for efficient management of actinides and conversion of fertile uranium;

  • Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor (LFR)

features a fast-spectrum lead of lead/bismuth eutectic liquid-metal-cooled reactor and a closed fuel cycle for efficient conversion of fertile uranium and management of actinides;

produces fission power in a circulating molten salt fuel mixture with an epithermal-spectrum reactor and a full actinide recycle fuel cycle.

Other Contenders

Developed at Argonne National Laboratories in the United States, the project was canceled by the US government in 1994 for purely political reasons.

References

Generation IV reactors, Wikipedia.

Argonne National Laboratory, Generation IV reactors.

Science Council for Global Initiatives, The integral fast reactors.

category: energy

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