Autonomous Corium Reactor for Terrestrial Applications Conference Paper uri icon


  • Current reactors utilize complex systems for safety and operation. The proposed design concept employs metal fuel in a molten state, within a silicon carbide crucible. It takes advantage of physics features to ensure safe reactor operation without human intervention. This molten fuel concept provides large thermal feedback in the fuel due to strong temperature dependent thermophysical properties. Fuel boiling phenomena potentially allows for fuel mass relocation/removal to isolated condensation regions to ensure a critical geometry throughout life. The strong tendency for natural circulation in liquid metals suggests a lead-based coolant to provide load following capability. A reactor meltdown becomes a normal operational state ensuring that core damage is minimized. Preliminary calculations show favorable reactor behavior and control at 100MWt; however, material compatibility and alloy integrity have not been studied. The reactor concept minimizes the need for human involvement in reactor operation, reduces the complexity of supporting systems, and can be deployed remotely for terrestrial thermal power and battery needs for periods greater than 25 years. Copyright 2012 by ASME.

name of conference

  • 2012 20th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering and the ASME 2012 Power Conference

published proceedings

  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance, Engineering, Modifications, Life Cycle, and Balance of Plant; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Steam Generator Technology Applications and Innovatio

author list (cited authors)

  • Johns, J. M., & Tsvetkov, P. V.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Johns, Jesse M||Tsvetkov, Pavel V

publication date

  • July 2012