Lead–Bismuth Eutectic (LBE): A Coolant Candidate for Gen. IV Advanced Nuclear Reactor Concepts

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Abstract

LBE is one of the primary coolant candidates of advanced nuclear reactors. The present review conducts an assessment of the coolant based on a series of liquid metal coolant selection criteria first and then identifies the key concerns of using LBE as the primary coolant of a nuclear reactor. The review focuses on the status of the art of these key concerns: materials degradation, protective oxide layer, and polonium production and control in an LBE coolant system. The review also addresses oxidation kinetics of steels in oxygen-containing LBE, development of oxygen technology and comparisons between LBE and liquid sodium.

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