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THE AQUEOUS HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT EURATOM-RCN-KEMA

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108 pages
.¡fi» Π »I." ■ »wl.'iï " EUR 161 Le ASSOCIATION EUROPEAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY - EURATOM '{,ί11πί KEURING VAN ELECTROTEÇHNISCHE MATERIALEN - KEMA, the Netherlands '·! 1.1.1 "i.It«»* • I»: THE AQUEOUS ;|§p|; aOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT iTv­Æ; üll EURATOM­RCN­KEMA ■•HLilfl lellii'! b­ 'mH!5£·ϋϋ!. JJ. WENT, J.A.H. KERSTEN, M.E.A. HERMANS, H. WOLF, JJ. van ZOLINGEN and H. WIJKER 1964 lii.nljj.2fl: Ρίο**?« WAs'àj ffiF Association No 001-59-12 NTAN and No 002-63-4 NTAN Ift π * Π·. ·· ι Translation of a series of articles published in "Atoomenergie en haar toepassingen" (1963) This document was prepared under the sponsorship of the Commission of the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). ιίΜ SAÍ Neither the EURATOM Commission, its contractors nor any person acting on their behalf: Io — Make any warranty or representation, express or implied, with respect to the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained in this docu­ment, or that the use of any information, apparatus, method, or process disclosed in this document may not infringe privately owned rights; or ■■< W. 4«, 2° — Assume any liability with respect to the use of, or for damages resulting from the use of any information, apparatus, method or process disclosed in this document. í-iiT 1 ïïK.­ï.ï.'lïSS!
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.¡fi»
Π »I." ■ »wl.'iï "
EUR 161 Le
ASSOCIATION
EUROPEAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY - EURATOM
'{,ί11πί
KEURING VAN ELECTROTEÇHNISCHE MATERIALEN - KEMA, the Netherlands
'·! 1.1.1 "i.It«»*

I»: THE AQUEOUS ;|§p|;
aOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT
iTv­Æ; üll EURATOM­RCN­KEMA
■•HLilfl lellii'!
b­ 'mH!
5£·ϋϋ!.
JJ. WENT, J.A.H. KERSTEN, M.E.A. HERMANS, H. WOLF,
JJ. van ZOLINGEN and H. WIJKER
1964
lii.nljj.2fl:
Ρίο**?« WAs'àj
ffiF
Association No 001-59-12 NTAN and No 002-63-4 NTAN
Ift π *
Π·. ·· ι
Translation of a series of articles
published in "Atoomenergie en haar toepassingen" (1963)
This document was prepared under the sponsorship of the Commission of the
European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). ιίΜ
SAÍ Neither the EURATOM Commission, its contractors nor any person acting on their
behalf:
Io — Make any warranty or representation, express or implied, with respect to the
accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained in this docu­
ment, or that the use of any information, apparatus, method, or process disclosed
in this document may not infringe privately owned rights; or
■■< W. 4«,
2° — Assume any liability with respect to the use of, or for damages resulting from the
use of any information, apparatus, method or process disclosed in this document.
í-iiT
1 ïïK.­ï.ï.'lïSS!:" tmWÊ SífiSü&n
This report can be obtained, at the price of Belgian
Francs 130, from: PRESSES ACADEMIQUES EUROPEEN­
NES ­ 98, chaussée de Charleroi, Brussels 6.
Please remit payments to:
— BANQUE DE LA SOCIETE GENERALE (Agence Ma
Campagne) ­ Brussels ­ account No. 964.558,
— BELGIAN AMERICAN BANK AND TRUST COM­
PANY ­ New York ­ account No. 22.186,
— LLOYDS BANK (Europe) Ltd. ­ 10 Moorgate ­
London E.C. 2,
giving the reference: "1611.e ­ The Aqueous Homogeneous
Suspension Reactor Project Euratom­RCN­KEMA."
Printed by Snoeck­Ducaju & Fils, Ghent
Brussels, October 1964.
pp©
Wim
iùliiL· iiwÆ EUR 1611.e
THE AQUEOUS HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT
EURATOM-RCN-KEMA by J.J. WENT, J.A.H. KERSTEN, Μ.ΕΛ. HERMANS,
H. WOLF, J.J. van ZOLINGEN and H. WUKER
Association: European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)
Keuring van Electrotechnische Materialen (KEMA), the Netherlands
Association No. 001-59-12 NTAN and No. 002-63-4 NTAN
Brussels, October 1964, pages 100
Translation of a series of articles, published in "Atoomenergie en haar toe­
passingen" (1963) on past development work, and on the next program of
development for a homogeneous suspension reactor.
EUR 16H.e
THE AQUEOUS HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT
EURATOM-RCN-KEMA by J.J. WENT, J.A.H. KERSTEN, M.E.A. HERMANS,
H. WOLF, J.J. van ZOLINGEN and H. WIJKER
Association: European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)
Keuring van Electrotechnische Materialen (KEMA), the Netherlands
Association No. 001-59-12 NTAN and No. 002-63-4 NTAN
Brussels, October 1964, pages 100
Translation of a series of articles, published in "Atoomenergie en haar toe­
passingen" (1963) on past development work, and on the next program of
development for a homogeneous suspension reactor. EUR 1611.e
ASSOCIATION
EUROPEAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY - EURATOM
KEURING VAN ELECTROTECHNISCHE MATERIALEN - KEMA, the Netherlands
THE AQUEOUS
HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT
EURATOM-RCN-KEMA
by
J.J. WENT, J.A.H. KERSTEN, M.E.A. HERMANS, H. WOLF,
JJ. van ZOLINGEN and H. WIJKER
1964
Association No 001-59-12 NTAN and No 002-63-4 NTAN
Translation of a series of articles
published in "Atoomenergie en haar toepassingen"' (1963) CONTENTS
Page
THE HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT, by Prof.
JJ. Went
This introductory article first of all answers the question why the development of a
suspension reactor is being undertaken, and then explains briefly what research has
to be carried out. It concludes with a succinct description of the KEMA Suspension
Test Reactor (KSTR).
PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF THE HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR
PROJECT, by Dr. J.A.H. Kersten 15
In this article, a brief description is given of the sub-critical reactor. This is followed
by a recapitulation of the principal results obtained by reactor-physics measurements.
During the investigations it was found that by the same means important information
could be derived concerning the hydrodynamics in and outside the reactor vessel and
the colloid-chemical properties of the suspension.
CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF THE HOMOGENEOUS SUSPENSION REACTOR
PROJECT, by Ir. M.E.A. Hermans 33
The chemical problems that arise out of the development of the homogeneous sus­
pension reactor are both numerous and extremely varied. For the survey given in
this article, a selection has been made from the subjects studied which illustrates the
typical problems raised by the suspension reactor. This selection comprises fuel
preparation, radiation-resistance of the fuel, colloid-chemical stability of the suspension,
UO: range of fission products, erosivity of the fuel suspension, removal of fission
products and caking.
ENGINEERING ACTIVITIES IN THE SUSPENSION REACTOR PROJECT,
by Ir. H. Wolf 49
In the previous articles, the KEMA Project for the development of a homogeneous
suspension reactor was described as regards its general set-up. The present article
deals more fully with the engineering aspects. A survey is given of the research
necessary for the design, construction and operation of the KSTR.
THE KEMA SUSPENSION TEST REACTOR (KSTR) INSTRUMENTATION
SYSTEM, by Dr. J.J. van Zolingen 65
In this article of the series on the KEMA Suspension Test Reactor (KSTR), attention
is devoted to the extensive instrumentation considered necessary for the reactor. In
addition to the equipment required for normal operating purposes, provision must be
made for extremely accurate measurements. There is also a description of the instru­
mentation needed for incidental. Page
PROTECTION AGAINST RADIATION EMITTED BY THE KEMA SUS­
PENSION TEST REACTOR (KSTR), by Drs. Hub. Wijker 79
For the protection of individuals against ionizing radiations from the KSTR, the
following points have to he born in mind:
a) The placing of thermal shields between the reactor and the nearby walls of the
reactor hall.
b) The placing of biological shields between the radiation sources and the parts of
the hall which have to be accessible.
c) The diffusion of radioactive gases from the stack.
d) The scaling-up ofe fission products.
e) The processing of liquid and solid radioactive waste. The Homogeneous Suspension Reactor Project
by Prof. Dr. J.J. WENT
The periodical "Atoomenergie en haar Toepassingen" has published a series of
articles on development work which has already been carried out and the programme for
the immediate future concerning a homogeneous suspension reactor, i.e. a reactor using a
suspension of fissile materials in water. The present publication is a translation of the
orginal Dutch articles.
The studies are being carried out at the N.V. Kenia laboratories Arnhem, Nether­
lands under a scheme for collaboration between EURATOM, RCN and KEMA. Under this
scheme EURATOM and RCN are to provide personnel as well as financial assistance.
Since the purpose of these articles is to convey an idea of the problems involved in
the use of suspensions in nuclear reactors, an account is also given here of work covering
the results of the activities of all those engaged on the project. The articles are written
by departmental heads who must be considered as representing the department as a
whole.
Why a homogeneous suspension reactor ?
Before presenting the research in progress at Arnhem, it is worthwhile explaining
why the homogeneous suspension reactor is being studied at all.
When the various types of nuclear reactors are compared from the standpoint of the
type and form of the fuel and the various possible moderator materials, the coolant and
the structural parts to ha used, the temperatures to be attained, the control mechanism to
be employed, the extent to which use is to be made of fission neutrons possessing a high
kinetic energy, or, on the other hand, of neutrons of low kinetic energy slowed down by
a moderator (this can differ by a factor of 10s) it is by no means surprising that more than
1,000 different reactor types were at one time considered to be possible. Although many
of them can be immediately ruled out as impracticable it cannot yet be determined which
type(s) will offer the best possibilities for the future. Different types will therefore have
to be examined. Therefore we shall go into our arguments for considering it advisable,
and even desirable, to proceed with the development of a homogeneous suspension reactor,
or more precisely, the development of a suspension suitable for use in a power.
For the time being we shall examine only the two most important facets of the question. I. The first argument concerns the degree of efficiency with which uranium or
thorium can be used in the reactor. The types of reactors which have already been
developed to such an extend that it is technically justifiable to construct large-scale instal­
lations, such as graphite-moderated gas-cooled reactors, which are either in operation or
under construction in Great Britain and France, or pressurized or boiling water reactors on
which the Americans have so far focussed their main attention, are all strictly limited as
regards the fraction of atoms present in natural uranium which are split in the fission
process and which are therefore responsible for the energy produced*.
This fraction appears to be the same for each of the three types mentioned above
amounting to approximately 0.5%. Even if this could he doubled to a burn-up of 1%
it would still appear rather wasteful. The use of nuclear energy on a large scale does not
allow for such a wastage, since sufficient uranium cannot be obtained at the present day
reasonable prices. If only the ores rich in uranium from which cheap uranium is now
extracted were used for the production of energy and this power generation confined to
a mere 1% of the uranium atoms, the world reserves of energy available in the form of
coal reserves which can be fairly readily exploited would be increased by only a few
percent. It is very doubtful whether the considerable resources in manpower and money
which are being devoted to nuclear power should be sacrificed for the attainment of such
a limited objective.
In principle, this limitation does not need to exist. As is known, natural uranium
consists of two isotopes, 235U and 238U. The former, present in natural uranium in the
proportion of only 0.7% is immediately fissile while the 23SU which is not easily fission­
able may be changed by the capture of an extra neutron in the nucleus and through
radioactive decay into the isotope 239Pu, which is just as 23r'U fissile and which eventually
can be turned into fissile 241Pu by the capture of more neutrons. The efficiency with which
new fissile material is produced is primarily contingent on the neutron economy. When
a number of neutrons are lost by absorption in the moderator the construction materials,
the coolant or in the fission products formed during the fission process, there are not many
neutrons left to form new fissile isotopes.
In the same way as the readily fissile isotopes 23!1Pu and 241Pu can be formed from
23SU, the fissile isotope 233U can be obtained from '-"'-'Th, which occurs in nature in at
least the same amount as uranium.
Apart from the efficiency with which use is made of the free neutrons available,
the specific isotope which produces new neutrons in the fission process is also of
importance since the number of neutrons becoming freely available is not the same for
each of the fissile isotopes and depends, furthermore, on whether the fission is caused by
neutrons which still possess the high kinetic energy imported to them in the fission
process or by neutrons which have been slowed down by the moderator.
Table I gives the value of η which represents the number of free neutrons produced
when one neutron is captured by the fissile isotope. It is only in a reactor where η
possesses a value greatly superior to two that at least as many new fissile isotopes may
be produced as disappear. The reactors in which such a process takes place are called
"breeder reactors".
When this possibility of breeding or near-breeding is applied, we can obtain a total
degree of fission of 25 to 50% instead of 0.5 to 1%. This leads to two important conse-
(*) This means that fraction of the atoms of the natural uranium which is used, whether enriched
in a diffusion plant or not.

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