2014 年 13 巻 1 号 p. 17-26
A new safety concept in a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) was proposed to provide the most advanced nuclear reactor that exerts no harmful consequences on the people and the environment even if multiple failures in all safety systems occur. The proposed safety concept is that the consequence of the accidents is mitigated by the confinement of fission products employing not multiple physical barriers as in light water reactors, but only the cladding of fuel (i.e., the coating layers of the coated fuel particle). The progression of the events that lead to the loss or degradation of the confinement function of the coating layers (i.e., core heat up, oxidation of the coating layers, and explosion of carbon monoxide) is suppressed by only physical phenomena (i.e., the Doppler effect, thermal radiation and natural convection, formation of a protective oxide layer for coating layers of fuel, oxidation of carbon monoxide) that emerge deterministically as a cause of the events. The feasibility studies for severe events and related information revealed that the HTGR design based on this safety concept is technically feasible. This concept indicates the direction in which nuclear reactor research should be headed in terms of safety after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.