Several concepts of fast reactors with liquid metal coolant (LMFR) are being developed in the world. Lead-cooled reactors are most preferred for the safe nuclear power of the future. Projects of such reactors are being developed in Russia (BREST), the European Union (the latest development is ALFRED), and the USA (a series of STAR low-power reactor designs). The potential capabilities of fuel, coolant, and structural materials considered for use in the core to increase safety have not been exhausted. There are still unused reserves that can significantly increase the self-protection of the reactor. This chapter presents the results of the analysis of the use of new types of nuclear fuel: based on ceramics and beryllium and ceramics and uranium nanopowder. Studies are being conducted on the possibility of optimizing the composition of lead coolant without isotope separation. The possibilities of improving the safety of LMFR with a coolant based on lead extracted from thorium ores are being investigated. The possibility of using tungsten coatings of the cladding of fuel pins deposited using low-temperature plasma spraying is analyzed. The composition of materials was optimized in terms of improving reactor safety. The proposed innovations will significantly increase the self-protection of the reactor from the totality of severe accidents.
Part of the book: Nuclear Materials