SEALER (Swedish Advanced Lead Reactor) is a lead-cooled reactor designed with the smallest possible core that can achieve criticality in a fast spectrum using 19.9% enriched uranium oxide (UOX) fuel. The rate of electricity production may vary between 3 to 10 MW, leading to a core-life between 10 and 30 full power years (at 90% availability). The reactor is designed to maintain a maximum temperature of the lead coolant below 450°C, making corrosion of fuel cladding and structural materials a manageable phenomenon, even over a life-span of several decades.
The safety features of lead mean that the core can manage a complete loss of off-site power for weeks before integrity of the fuel rods is challenged. Should any volatile fission products be relesead into the coolant, 99.99% will be chemically retained by the lead. The eventual release of noble gases and residual volatiles results in a radiological exposure at the site boundary which is smaller than the natural back-ground dose received during a few months. Hence, no accident scenario can lead to a situation where evacuation becomes necessary.
LeadCold intends to enter Phase 1 of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission pre-license review in 2016. The eventual objective is to receive a license for construction in Canada by end of 2021, and we aim at having our first SEALER-unit ready for operation in 2025.
The future cost for purchasing a SEALER reactor is estimated at 100 million Canadian dollars.
After 10 - 30 years of operation, the first SEALER units will be transported back to a centralised recycling facility. The plutonium and minor actinides present in the spent fuel may then be separated and converted into an inert matrix nitride fuel for indefinite recycle in SEALER reactors. The residual high level waste (mainly short lived fission produts) will be vitrified and isolated from the biosphere in a geological repository for a period of less than 1000 years.
A 3D-CAD representation of SEALER
SEALER core map
© LeadCold Reactors, 2017