Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor – Past and Future (Joint Seminar)

Event Date: March 26, 2014
Speaker: Dr. T.K.Kim
Argonne National Laboratory
Type: Joint Seminar
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: EE 170



On December 20th, 1951, the Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-I) at Idaho National Laboratory became the world’s first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. Within two years of this major breakthrough EBR-I successfully bred Plutonium-239 from Uranium-238 with a conversion ratio greater than 1.0. Due to the rapid development of nuclear technology during this time period the United States began expanding their Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) program for further research in controlling the fission reaction and breeding fuel for power production. It was from the years of 1951 to 1994 that the United States designed, built, and operated five non-commercial fast reactors: EBR-I, Fermi 1, EBR-II, SEFOR, and FFTF. In April 1986, landmark passive safety tests were performed at EBR-II, demonstrating that even with a loss of all electrical power and the capability to shut down the reactor using the normal systems, the reactor will simply shut down without danger or damage. The SFR technologies have been demonstrated with more than 400 operating-years worldwide, and there have been many recent advances in fast reactor technologies in countries such as France, Japan, Russia, India, China, and Korea. This Colloquium will discuss the history and development of SFRs with an emphasis on the refocusing of SFR technology along with several fast reactor advancements in recent years. 



T.K. Kim, PhD is the section manager of Reactor and Fuel Cycle Analysis, Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory. He is leading the reactor physics, the design and analysis of advanced reactors such as Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR), intermediate-spectrum High Conversion Light Water Reactor, High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor, Small Modular Reactor (SMR), Innovative Fast Reactors, etc., at Argonne National Laboratory. And he leads national program on Fuel Cycle Data Package development activity to support Fuel Cycle Options campaign. He has PhD in Nuclear Engineering from Seoul National University, Korea in 1995, was a senior researcher at Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), visited Purdue University in 2000 as a visiting scholar, and joined Argonne National Laboratory in 2001.