Liquid Metal Cooled Reactors


  • Peter Wydler



Fast reactors, Generation iv systems, Liquid metal coolants


The long-term vision of a sustainable nuclear energy system is an important driver for the development of fast reactors because, apart from generating energy, these can serve as fuel-producing factories or transuranic waste burners. This key role in advanced fuel cycles and new, innovative applications have revived the interest in various alternative fast reactor concepts such as liquid heavy metal and gas-cooled systems which, in the longer term, are perceived to have some advantages over the conventional sodium-cooled fast reactors. This article focuses on the liquid metal cooled reactors. After a brief history of these reactors, the advantages and drawbacks of different liquid metal coolants are overviewed and, in the second part, current development trends are summarised, following the lines of the recent US initiative for a technology roadmap for Generation IV nuclear energy systems.