A passively safe control rod for gas-cooled reactors is proposed. This Optimally Scramming Control Rod (OSCR) is lifted out of the core region by the core coolant and descends back into the core when the coolant flow is not sufficient for core cooling purposes or in the event of depressurization. It is shown that for the current design of the OSCR, the reactor can be operated under normal lower power conditions down to about 80% of total power. It is also shown that cold shutdown can be achieved with rods of sufficiently low mass to allow naturally passive operation of the concept.

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