An overview of R&D on fast reactor fuel cycle
The development of a closed fast reactor fuel cycle is an interdisciplinary and inter-organisational domain of great challenges which would contribute significantly to the success of the fast reactor programme. While the Fast Breeder Test Reactor at Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam uses a unique plutonium-rich mixed carbide as its driver fuel, the 500 MWe Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) being constructed at Kalpakkam would use a uranium, plutonium mixed oxide with 21% PuO2 content in the inner zone and 27% PuO2 content in outer zone. Highlights of some of the on-going as well as long-term R&D activities towards closing of the fuel cycles for these as well as future fast reactors are described in this paper.
Keywords: fast breeder reactors, uranium, plutonium, fuel design, nuclear fuel cycle, burn-up, R&, D, research and development, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear reactors