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Astrid is a model of fast neutron reactor, using sodium as heat transfer medium. The project, following Superphénix and Rapsodie, is led by the French Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique in Saclay and Marcoule. The prototype, financed by the government, may be completed within a few years.
A breeder reactor is a nuclear reactor that generates more fissile materials than it consumes, by transmuting fertile isotopes into fissile isotopes. The molten salt reactor MSR is a breeder reactor : by capture effect of the neutrons released by the fissions in the heart, the radioactive elements, Th 232 or U 238, contained in the fertile blanket, are transformed into fertile U 233 and Pu 239 respectively, these latter being fissile.
Forum International Generation IV
Created in 2001, the Generation IV International Forum coordinates efforts to develop the next generation (the 4th) of nuclear energy systems. It’s current membership includes all industrial countries plus Euratom and IAEA.
It is very difficult to create an atomic bomb , from thorium fuel or radioactive products from a MSFR.
Tristructural-Isotropic (TRISO) fuel is a type of micro fuel particle ; size 1 mm. It consists of a fuel kernel composed of UOX in the center, coated with four layers of three isotropic materials. The four layers are a porous buffer layer made of carbon, followed by a dense inner layer of carbon , followed by a ceramic layer of Silicium carbur to retain fission products at elevated temperatures and to give the TRISO particle more structural integrity, followed by a dense outer layer of PyC.