◎ Purpose and outline of the facility
FCA (Fast Critical Assembly) is the country’s only critical assembly for the study of the neutronic characteristics of fast reactors.
FCA is a horizontal, split-table type reactor, which consists of a pair of half-assemblies composed of a matrix tube structure. The half-assemblies remain separated in the shutdown state and are brought together in the operating state.
A FCA experimental core is constructed by inserting plate-type or block-type fuels (U and Pu) and core materials (Na, Stainless Steel, etc.) into each of the half-assembly fuel drawers. FCA has a great deal of flexibility for fuel composition and core geometry, which can facilitate experiments for a wide variety of mock-up cores.
◎ R&D activities
Taking advantage of the FCA’s described core configuration flexibility and simulation capability of a wide range of neutron spectra, various types of experiments have been conducted to develop experimental and analytical techniques in reactor physics, and provide basic data for nuclear data evaluation.
For technological development related to the safe handling of melted fuels (i.e., fuel debris), which are generated in severe nuclear reactor facility accidents, a new series of experiments are being proposed for FCA to obtain experimental data for the verification of analytical methods that can deal with complex geometries, simulating the possible piling-up of fuel debris.
The FCA experiments have made significant contributions to the development of fast reactors by providing experimental data, which has been requested for the evaluation of nuclear design, and safety review of the experimental fast reactor “JOYO” and prototype fast breeder reactor “MONJU.”
◎ A brief history of FCA
|1970～||Mock-up experiments for the experimental fast reactor “JOYO”|
|1974||Enlargement of the FCA core|
|1975～||Mock-up experiments for the prototype fast breeder reactor “MONJU”|
|1983～||Experiments to study neutronic characteristics for large fast breeder reactor cores, etc.|
◎ Major specifications
|Name||Fast Critical Assembly (FCA)|
|Type||A horizontal, split-table type|
|First Criticality||April 29, 1967|
|Number of Operations||More than five thousand|
|Dimensions of half-assembly||Approximately 2.8 m2 in cross-section and 1.3 m long|
|Fuel||Enriched U and Pu|
|Maximum thermal power||2 kW|