Category Archives: Fast Breeder Reactor Programs: History and Status

Program overview-history and status

Japan’s fast breeder reactor program was conceived in the Japan Atomic Energy Commission’s (JAEC) first Long Term Plan, published in 1956.1 Among various reactor types under review, the JAEC selected the fast breeder reactor and its closed fuel cycle as the preferred technologies for R&D and endorsed the importation of light-water reactor technology from the United States.2

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Phenix — sodium leaks and reactivity spikes

As of 1988, Phenix had a cumulative average load factor of 60.5 percent. Operation was not without problems, however. The first fuel pin leak occurred in June 1975, secondary sodium leaks occurred in September 1974, March and July 1975 (approximately 20 liters each for the first two and 1 liter for the last). "Leakage generally led to the slow spontaneous […]

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Superphenix — sodium leaks and missile attacks

Safety concerns related to the operation of the Superphenix reactor were a key objection of the critics of the project from its very early stages. Over 5,000 tons of highly reactive sodium combined with several tons of highly toxic plutonium raised numerous safety issues. After the Chernobyl accident, which occurred only three months after connection of Superphenix to the grid, […]

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