The use of sodium instead of water as the coolant allows the reactor to operate at lower pressures, improving the efficiency and safety of the system.
The ARC-100 consumes its own waste and recycles its own fuel, leaving almost no long-term waste. In addition, the technology can recycle waste from traditional reactors to generate energy.
The total plant size is less than a city block and its modularized components can be shipped and installed at the site using regular commercial equipment, such as barges, rail, trucks, and construction cranes.
With a system that is "walk away" fail safe, the ARC-100 does not depend on extra pumps or operator intervention in the event electric power to the plant is disrupted.
The proprietary core of the ARC-100 is designed to operate for 20+ years without refueling.
The ARC-100 uses a metallic uranium alloy fuel, which is much simpler and cheaper to fabricate than oxide fuel with exceptional heat transfer characteristics.
The EBR-II was a sodium-cooled fast-reactor developed by the US government’s Argonne National Labs, successfully supplying energy to the grid for thirty years in Idaho. As a complete power plant, the reliability of the system was demonstrated, and sodium operating and maintenance technology was established. The EBR-II demonstrated inherent safety, metal fuel fabrication, load following and waste recycling.
Excerpt from Pandora's Promise documentary directed by Robert Stone