Comparative Breeding Characteristics of Fusion and Fast Reactors

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Science  17 Jun 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4296, pp. 1326-1329
DOI: 10.1126/science.196.4296.1326


Expressions are developed to allow ready comparison of a hybrid fission-fusion plant and a fast breeder with respect to the number of thermal reactors that their fissile production could support, both for their feed requirements and for the new inventory needs of an expanding industry. These relations are expressed in terms of the neutron multiplication factor obtained in the fusion blanket, and the analogous quantities represented by the conversion ratios of the fast and thermal fission associated with the comparison. Results are presented graphically both for the steady state and for industries of arbitrary growth rate, and include the influence of tritium production requirements. Even a modest blanket neutron multiplication factor could enable the hybrid fusion system greatly to outperform the fast breeder on this simple basis of material balances.