George Stanford talks about sodium cooled fast reactors
George Stanford earned his PhD in experimental nuclear physics from Yale University and then spent his professional career doing nuclear reactor safety research at the Argonne National Laboratory. One of his special interest was the sodium cooled fast reactor program. He worked on the Experimental Breeder Reactor II which was the technical prototype for a future reactor proposal known as the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR)
George and I talked about various fuel cycles, their perceived advantages and disadvantages, and some of the politics associated with the IFR. We talked a bit about the passive safety experiments conducted on the EBR II, pyroprocessing of fast reactor fuel, and the uranium use efficiency possible with fast reactor fuel recycling.
We also spoke a bit about the 10 MWe Toshiba 4S sodium cooled reactor, which has been proposed as an alternative electrical power generator for remote areas. The first proposed location for this reactor is Galena Alaska, a small village on the Yukon River that currently depends completely on diesel fuel and kerosene for its energy supplies.
Here are a few related links that might be useful in helping to better understand our discussion.
- Argonne National Laboratory – State of the Laboratory 1992
- Argonne National Laboratory – State of the Laboratory 1993
- Argonne National Laboratory – State of the Laboratory 1994
- DOE’s Nuclear Energy Research Programs Threaten National Security