Application of hafnium hydride control rod to large sodium cooled fast breeder reactor

Kazumi Ikeda, Hiroyuki Moriwaki, Yoshiyuki Ohkubo, Tomohiko Iwasaki, Kenji Konashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This study treats the feasibility of long-lived hafnium hydride control rod in a large sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor by nuclear and thermal analyses. According to the nuclear calculations, it is found that hydrogen absorption of hafnium triples the reactivity by the neutron spectrum shift at the H/Hf ratio of 1.3, and a hafnium transmutation mechanism that produced daughters are absorbers quadruples the lifetime due to a low incineration rate of absorbing nuclides under irradiation. That is to say, the control rod can function well for a long time because an irradiation of 2400 EFPD reduces the reactivity by only 4%. The calculation also reveals that the hafnium hydride control rod can apply to the reactor in that nuclear and thermal characteristics become as good as or better than 80% B-10 enriched boron carbide. For example, the maximum linear heat rate becomes 3% lower. Owing to the better power distribution, the required flow rate decreases approximately by 1%. Consequently, it is concluded on desk analyses that the long lived hafnium hydride control rod is feasible in the large sodium-cooled fast breeder reactor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 15


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