Saturday, 19 March 2011

Liquid fuels

Molten salts

These include fuels where the fuel is dissolved in the coolant. They were used in the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment and numerous other liquid core reactor experiments, such as the liquid fluoride thorium reactor. The liquid fuel for the molten salt reactor was a mixture of lithium, beryllium, thorium and uranium fluorides: LiF-BeF2-ThF4-UF4 (72-16-12-0.4 mol%). It had a peak operating temperature of 705 °C in the experiment, but could have operated at much higher temperatures, since the boiling point of the molten salt was in excess of 1400 °C.
Aqueous solutions of uranyl salts

The aqueous homogeneous reactors use a solution of uranyl sulfate or other uranium salt in water. This homogenous reactor type has not been used for any large power reactors. One of its disadvantages is that the fuel is in a form which is easy to disperse in the event of an accident.

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