Category Archives: Fast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status

Local Politics

Local politics with respect to nuclear facilities is complex and influential. Government financial incentives, called kofu-kin, reward communities for accepting nuclear-related facilities and play a large role in local politics. Once a local community accepts a nuclear facility, it receives annual payments (in billions of yen) from the Government. Kofu-kin and tax revenues from nuclear facilities become a major component […]

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On 5 October 1972, introducing the Annual Report, Sir John Hill said

We expect the reactor to be producing electricity by the end of 1973. We in the Authority have never proposed that the first commercial fast reactor should not be started until sufficient operating experience of the prototype had been obtained, to be absolutely sure that there were no fundamental problems unresolved. I have, however, always believed in continuity of design […]

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Alternative breeder concepts

Although the highest priority was given to LMFBRs, several other types of breeders were considered, and reached various stages of development in the United States. In addition to the LMFBR, these included the gas (helium) cooled fast breeder, and two thermal-neutron reactor types, the light-water breeder reactor and the molten-salt breeder reactor (MSBR). The fast-neutron breeder reactors were designed to […]

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The USSR-Russia Fast-Neutron Reactor Program

Gennadi Pshakin The Soviet Union’s fast-neutron reactor program began at the end of 1949 when physicist Alexander Leypunsky presented a special report to the Government on the idea of creating nuclear reactors that could produce more fissile material than they consumed. The rationale offered was that in the future, as the Soviet nuclear industry expanded rapidly, there would be a […]

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It was not exactly a reassuring recipe

On 22 June 1976, at Energy Secretary Tony Benn’s National Energy Conference, Flowers was more specific about the Commission’s unease about the use of plutonium as a civil fuel. Earlier in June, Benn had told the Commons that the Government would announce in the early autumn its decision about the future of Britain’s fast breeder programme. Work had reached a […]

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Second and third decades, 1960-80

During the second and third decades of the program, experience was acquired in the use of fast-reactor technology. In 1961, the critical assembly BFS-1 started operation at IPPE. It allowed researchers to simulate fast-reactor core volumes of up to 3 m3 with cores fueled by different mixtures of plutonium and uranium of varying enrichments, and different configurations of control and […]

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