Volume 3, Issue 8 (September 2006)
A Light-Water-Cooled Nuclear Reactor of Natural Uranium and Beryllium
A light-water nuclear power reactor core configuration is described, which does not require any isotopic enrichments (e.g., D2O or U-235) without the use of graphite. This reactor design utilizes plates of natural uranium (NU) metal and Beryllium. The coolant is natural water, which flows between two plates of NU and is required to add additional moderator to attain criticality. Only square reactor shapes of uniform plate thickness are evaluated. Commercial viability is not demonstrated but the proposed design does warrant further study. The configuration shows potential to meet GEN IV sustainability and GNEP closed fuel cycle goals. Aspects covered include neutronics, criticality, costs and nonproliferation.