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1. (WO2017192607) MOLTEN FUEL NUCLEAR REACTOR WITH NEUTRON REFLECTING COOLANT
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A molten fuel nuclear reactor comprising:

a containment vessel and vessel head;

a reactor core enclosed within the containment vessel and vessel head, the reactor core having an upper region and a lower region;

a heat exchanger enclosed within the containment vessel and vessel head, the heat exchanger configured to transfer heat from a liquid fuel in the reactor core to a liquid neutr on-reflecting coolant.

2. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 1, wherein the neutron-reflecting coolant is selected from lead, lead alloys, lead-bismuth eutectic, lead oxide, iron uranium alloys, iron-uranium eutectic, graphite, tungsten carbide, densalloy, titanium carbide, depleted uranium alloys, tantalum tungsten, and tungsten alloys.

3. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 1, wherein the neutron-reflecting coolant exhibits an elastic cross section of 0.1 barns or greater for 0.001 MeV neutrons.

4. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 1, wherein the neutron-reflecting coolant is liquid and has a density greater than 10 grams/cm3 at the reactor operating temperature.

5. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 1, wherein the heat exchanger is a shell and tube heat exchanger.

6. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 5, wherein the liquid fuel is passed through the shell of the heat exchanger and the liquid neutron-reflecting coolant is passed through the tubes of the heat exchanger.

7. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 5, wherein the liquid fuel is passed through the tubes of the heat exchanger and the liquid neutron-reflecting coolant is passed through the shell of the heat exchanger.

8. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 1-7, wherein the heat exchanger is fluidly connected to the upper region of the reactor core by an upper channel and fluidly connected to the lower region of the reactor core by a lower channel, the reactor core, heat exchanger and upper and lower channels forming a fuel loop.

9. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 1-7, further comprising: a liquid reflector coolant inlet in the vessel head fluidly connected to the heat exchanger that receives cooled liquid neutron-reflecting coolant; and

a liquid reflector coolant outlet in the vessel head fluidly connected to the heat exchanger that discharges heated liquid neutron-reflecting coolant.

10. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 1-7, further comprising: an inlet coolant transport channel interior to and in contact with a first portion of the containment vessel between the liquid reflector coolant inlet in the vessel head and the heat exchanger, wherein the inlet coolant transport channel receives cooled liquid neutron-reflecting coolant from the liquid reflector coolant inlet, thereby cooling the first portion of the containment vessel.

11. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 10, wherein the first portion of the containment vessel includes at least some of a side wall of the containment vessel.

12. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 10, wherein the first portion of the containment vessel includes at least some of a bottom wall of the containment vessel.

13. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 10, wherein the first portion of the containment vessel includes at least some of a side wall and some of a bottom wall of the containment vessel.

14. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 1-7, wherein the fuel salt includes one or more of the following fissile salts: UF6, UF4, UF3, ThCU, UBn, UBr4, PuCh, UCl4, UCh, UCI3F, or UCI2F2.

15. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 1-7, wherein the fuel salt includes one or more of the following non-fissile salts: NaCl, MgCh, CaCh, BaCl2, KC1, SrCl2, VCh, CrCh, TiCU, ZrCl4, ThCl4, AcCh, NpCl4, AmCh, LaCh, CeCh, PrCh or NdCb.

16. A molten fuel nuclear reactor comprising:

a containment vessel and vessel head;

a reactor core enclosed within the containment vessel and vessel head, the reactor core having an upper region and a lower region;

a first heat exchanger enclosed within the containment vessel and vessel head, the heat exchanger configured to transfer heat from a liquid fuel in the reactor core to a primary coolant;

a neutron reflector containing at least some neutron-reflecting liquid; and a circulation system that circulates the at least some neutron-reflecting coolant in the neutron reflector.

17. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 16, wherein the neutron-reflecting liquid is selected from lead, lead alloys, lead-bismuth eutectic, lead oxide, iron uranium alloys, iron-uranium eutectic, graphite, tungsten carbide, densalloy, titanium carbide, depleted uranium alloys, tantalum tungsten, and tungsten alloys.

18. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 16, wherein the neutron-reflecting liquid exhibits an elastic cross section of 0.1 barns or greater for 0.001 MeV neutrons.

19. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 16, wherein the neutron-reflecting liquid is liquid and has a density greater than 10 grams/cm3 at the reactor operating temperature.

20. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 16, further comprising:

a second heat exchanger that removes heat from heated neutron-reflecting liquid and discharges cooled neutron-reflecting liquid.

21. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 20, wherein the second heat exchanger is outside of the reactor vessel.

22. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 16-21, further comprising:

a liquid reflector coolant inlet in the vessel head fluidly connected to the heat exchanger that receives cooled liquid neutron-reflecting liquid; and

a liquid reflector coolant outlet in the vessel head fluidly connected to the heat exchanger that discharges heated liquid neutron-reflecting liquid.

23. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 16-21, further comprising:

an inlet reflector transport channel interior to and in contact with a first portion of the containment vessel between the liquid reflector coolant inlet and the liquid reflector coolant outlet, wherein the inlet coolant transport channel receives cooled liquid neutron-reflecting liquid from the liquid reflector coolant inlet, thereby cooling the first portion of the containment vessel.

24. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 23, wherein the first portion of the containment vessel includes at least some of a side wall of the containment vessel.

25. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 23, wherein the first portion of the containment vessel includes at least some of a bottom wall of the containment vessel.

26. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of claim 23, wherein the first portion of the containment vessel includes at least some of a side wall and some of a bottom wall of the containment vessel.

27. The molten fuel nuclear reactor of any of claims 16-21, wherein the fuel salt includes one or more of the following fissile salts: UF6, UF4, UF3, ThCU, UBn, UBr4, PuCh, UCl4, UCh, UCI3F, or UCI2F2.

28. The molten fuel nuclear reactor any of claims 16-21, wherein the fuel salt includes one or more of the following non-fissile salts: NaCl, MgCh, CaCh, BaCl2, KC1, SrCl2, VCh, CrCh, TiCU, ZrCl4, ThCl4, AcCh, NpCl4, AmCh, LaCh, CeCh, PrCh or NdCb.