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By Harold F. Mcfarlane


The Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) concept includes a sodium-cooled fast reactor collocated with an integrated pyroprocess fuel recycling facility. The pyrochemical processes and the inert atmosphere of the heavily shielded fuel cycle facility provide inherent proliferation-resistant features for this advanced technology. The reactor can be designed to operate with a number of different conversion factors, so that it could be used for excess plutonium consumption or as a breeder if needed for rapid expansion of energy supply. The system contains a large quantity of plutonium and minor actinides, which at all times remain in extremely hostile environments and in chemical and physical forms that would require additional processing to extract weapons-suitable material. The aqueous processing equipment and facilities to accomplish such separation would not be available on site. Transportation would not be required in the reference deployment scenario. Nevertheless, the proliferation-resistance of some parts of the system could be considerably strengthened by advanced safeguards technologies. In spite of its inherent features, international deployment of the system would probably be limited to stable countries with a strong existing nuclear infrastructure

Year: 2011
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