Utilization of Hydride Materials in Nuclear Reactors
Metal hydrides have high hydrogen atom density, which is equivalent to that of liquid water. Fast neutrons are efficiently moderated by hydrogen in metal hydrides. Metal hydrides have been studied for their potential application as nuclear materials in fast reactors (FRs). Two types of the utilizations of metal hydride in FRs are discussed in this paper. One is the utilization for transmutation target of long-lived nuclear wastes. Hydride fuel containing 237Np, 241Am and 243Am has been studied as a candidate transmutation target to reduce the radioactivity of long-lived nuclides included in reprocessed nuclear wastes. An application of the hafnium hydride has been investigated as neutron absorber in FRs. The core design has been performed to examine its characteristics and to evaluate the cost reduction effect. Demonstration of fabrication of hydride pin has been done with hydride pellets and stainless steel cladding. Coating technique of inner cladding surface has been also developed to reduce the permeation of hydrogen through stainless steel cladding. Physical and chemical properties of the pellet have been measured for designing the hydride pin. The integrity of the pellets at high temperature has been tested and their compatibility with sodium has also been tested. Irradiation test of hydrides has been performed in the fast experimental reactor, JOYO, at Japan Atomic Energy Association (JAEA).
Pietro VINCENZINI, Hua-Tay LIN and Kevin FOX
K. Konashi and M. Yamawaki, "Utilization of Hydride Materials in Nuclear Reactors", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 73, pp. 51-58, 2010