DOI: 10.55176/2414-1038-2020-4-86-115

Authors & Affiliations

Sorokin A.P., Ivanov A.P., Kuzina Yu.A., Morozov A.V., Denisova N.A.

A.I. Leypunsky Institute for Physics and Power Engineering, Obninsk, Russia

Sorokin A.P. – Chief Researcher, Dr. Sci. (Techn.). Contacts: 1, pl. Bondarenko, Obninsk, Kaluga region, Russia, 249033. Tel.: +7 (484) 399-84-47; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Ivanov A.P. – Leading Researcher.
Kuzina Ju.A. – Deputy General Director – Department of the Director of Nuclear Energy, Cand. Sci. (Techn.).
Morozov A.V. – Leading Researcher, Dr. Sci. (Techn.), professor.
Denisova N.A. – Leading Engineer.


An important problem determining the development of clean energy is the involvement of hydrogen in the fuel cycle. At present, the main method of hydrogen production is steam methane conversion. In the long term, large-scale hydrogen production, this method is not viable due to the consumption of nonrenewable resources and the emission of greenhouse gases. Alternative methods of hydrogen production by water splitting methods using thermochemical or electrolysis processes require a high-temperature heat source. Nuclear reactors can serve as the most widely used high-temperature heat sources. The performed neutron-physical and thermophysical studies have shown that there is a fundamental possibility to provide the required parameters of a high-temperature (900–950 °C) with a 600 MW (thermal) fast neutron reactor with a sodium coolant for hydrogen production. It’s possible on the basis of one of the thermochemical cycles or high-temperature electrolysis with a high coefficient of thermal utilization of energy. It is shown that the temperature regime of core fuel elements is determined by a large number of parameters that have a regular and statistical nature. The developed methodology and numerical program allows to take into account, in the fuel assemblies shaped during the campaign, the effect on the temperature distribution of the fuel element cladding and temperature irregularities along the fuel element perimeter in the interchannel exchange fuel assembly, the random distribution of channel cross-sections and the heat generation of fuel elements using the Monte Carlo method, also other factors. For various reactor operating regimes, zones with stable temperature stratification with large gradients and temperature fluctuations have been identified. The results obtained make it possible to judge the amplitude and frequency characteristics of temperature pulsations in these potentially dangerous areas. The relative small size, the type of coolant, the choice of fissile material and structural materials make it possible to create a reactor with inherent properties that ensure increased nuclear and radiation safety.

high-temperature nuclear reactor, sodium, hydrogen, neutronic and thermophysical processes, core, fuel element, circulation loop, intermediate heat exchanger, inlet manifold, upper chamber, safety, emergency heat removal system

Article Text (PDF, in Russian)


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Problems of Atomic Science and Technology. Series: Nuclear and Reactor Constants, 2020, issue 4, 4:10