The accelerator driven subcritical system (ADS) has been chosen as one of the best candidates for Generation IV nuclear energy systems which could not only produce clean energy but also incinerate nuclear waste. The transient characteristics and operation principles of ADS are significantly different from those of the critical nuclear energy system (CNES). In this work, the safety characteristics of ADS are analyzed and compared with CNES by a developed neutronics and thermal-hydraulics coupled code named ARTAP. Three typical accidents are carried out in both ADS and CNES, including reactivity insertion, loss of flow, and loss of heat sink. The comparison results show that the power and the temperatures of fuel, cladding, and coolant of the CNES reactor are much higher than those of the ADS reactor during the reactivity insertion accident, which means ADS has a better safety advantage than CNES. However, due to the subcriticality of the ADS core and its low sensitivity to negative reactivity feedback, the simulation results indicate that the inherent safety characteristics of CNES are better than those of ADS under loss of flow accident, and the protection system of ADS would be quickly activated to achieve an emergency shutdown after the accident occurs. For the loss of heat sink, it is found that the peak temperatures of the cladding in the ADS and CNES reactors are lower than the safety limit, which imply these two reactors have good safety performance against loss of heat sink accidents.


This article is published under a CC-BY license.

Luo, R.; Revankar, S.T.; Zhao, F. Comparative Safety Analysis of Accelerator Driven Subcritical Systems and Critical Nuclear Energy Systems. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 8179. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11178179


Accelerator driven subcritical system; critical reactor; safety analysis; accident

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