Skip to main content

Sodium as a Fast Reactor Coolant

Thomas Fanning

Unless new sources of energy are found, the development of nuclear power will necessarily depend on fast reactors.The choice of coolant determines the main design approaches and the technical and economic characteristics of a nuclear power plant. Historically, this requirement has been met by the use of sodium in nearly all fast reactors constructed and operated. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) identified three fast reactor concepts for potential future development: SFR, sodium fast reactor, LFR, lead fast reactor and GFR, gas fast reactor.An objective is to identify important differences between sodium and other fast reactor coolants (lead/LBE and helium) and why sodium is preferred.