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Adamov E.O.,Private Institution of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. | Orlov V.V.,Private Institution of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. | Rachkov V.I.,National Research Nuclear University MEPhI | Slessarev I.S.,Private Institution of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom. | Khomyakov Y.S.,Private Institution of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom.
Thermal Engineering (English translation of Teploenergetika) | Year: 2015

Modern nuclear power technology still has significant sources of risk, and, weak links, such as, a threat of severe accidents with catastrophic unpredictable consequences and damage to the population, proliferation of nuclear weapon-usable materials, risks of long-term storage of toxic radioactive waste, risks of loss of major investments in nuclear facilities and their construction, lack of fuel resources for the ambitious role of nuclear power in the competitive balance of energy. Each of these risks is important and almost independent, though the elimination of some of them does not significantly alter the overall assessment of nuclear power. Advanced light water-cooled reactors (LWR) cannot be considered for long-term use due to the significant fuel consumption and the inevitable, although in a distant prospect, shortage of 235U, and due to the low initial potential of LWRs, that cannot overcome all the weak links mentioned above. With such challenges, nuclear power can be neither widespread nor effective, so the main objective in the development of the next generation of nuclear reactors should be a drastic reduction or elimination of important risks and threats specific to the current generation of nuclear power. The real solution to this problem can be found in the transition to a new set of fundamental scientific terms and assumptions (a new paradigm), consisting in the deliverance of nuclear power from important risks and threats by innoculating the reactors and their fuel cycles with a guaranteed “risk-free immunity,” which results in a new quality of nuclear power—an Inherent Safety (IS). To present clear criteria of reaching the inherent safety, we introduce a damage ranking, provability, and priority and principles of the immunity formation against severe accidents and the ways of reaching this within the innovative project Proryv (Russian for Breakthrough). © 2015, Pleiades Publishing, Inc.

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