The Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through its INPRO Project has developed a methodology to evaluate the innovative nuclear reactors. The main objectives of INPRO are to help to ensure that nuclear energy is available in the 21st century in a sustainable manner; and bring together both technology holders and technology users to achieve desired innovations in nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel cycles which are to be acceptable to the public because they are economic, safe, proliferation resistant, sustainable, and having reduced environmental impact. Here is a preliminary application of this methodology (IAEA-TECDOC-1362) to evaluate the Fixed Bed Nuclear Reactor Concept (FBNR). Some of the characteristics of the proposed reactor are: The FBNR is based on pressurized light water reactor technology. It is a small, modular, and integrated primary circuit reactor. The fuel elements of FBNR are 8 mm diameter spherical uranium dioxide pellets cladded by zircaloy or made of compacted TRISO type fuel particles. The reactor core is suspended by the flow of water coolant. The stop in flow causes the fuel elements leave the reactor core by the force of gravity and fall into a passively cooled fuel chamber or even leave the reactor completely and become deposited in the spent fuel pool. It is an inherently safe and passively cooled reactor concept. FBNR in its advanced versions can use supercritical steam or helium gas as coolant, and utilize MOX or thorium fuel.

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