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Critical Reactors

Critical reactors for transmutation and incineration of nuclear waste have been investigated in the joint European CAPRA / CADRA program headed by CEA (France). The program originally started with investigation of the options of waste incineration in critical reactors but has been extended meanwhile also to ADS.

CAPRA

(Combustion Améliorée du Plutonium dans les Réacteurs Avancés)

CADRA

(Consommation d'Actinides et de Déchets dans les Réacteurs Avancés)
Consumption of Actinides and Waste in advanced reactors)

For details on the CAPRA / CADRA program please visit the CAPRA/CADRA-homepage (under construction)

The CAPRA reactor core was originally dedicated to burn Pu. To cope with the high load of Pu (~ 45 % enrichement) the core is designed in a 'transparent way' for high neutron leakage. Though the Pu enrichment was as high as 45 % to achieve maximum incineration rates the safety case for the reactor could be proven. An essential feature of the proof have been new ideas related to the reduction or even suppression of neutronic activity (recriticality) in the case of severe accidents with core melting.