Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) were conceived at the early stages of nuclear energy in view of the favourable features fostered by a liquid fuel. They were developed as graphite-moderated thorium-fuelled breeder reactors till the seventies, when studies on this reactor concept were mostly abandoned in favour of the liquid–metal fast breeder concepts. A decade ago, the MSRs were included among the six GEN-IV systems and a core optimization process allowing for the GEN-IV main objectives led toward a fast-spectrum MSR concept (MSFR – Molten Salt Fast Reactor). Albeit advantageous in terms of U-233 breeding and/or radio-active waste burning, the new concept lacks the notable know-how available for the thermal-spectrum MSR technology. The present paper preliminarily investigates the MSR dynamics, based on the conceptual MSFR design currently available. A primary objective is to benchmark two different models of the MSFR primary circuit, both of them including a detailed and fully-coupled (node-wise) representation of turbulent fuel-salt flow, neutron diffusion, and delayed-neutron precursor diffusion and convection. A good agreement is generally observed between the adopted models, though some discrepancies exist in the temperature-field, with ensuing mild impacts on the reactor dynamics. The performed analyses are also used for a preliminary characterization of the MSFR steady-state and accidental transient response. Some points of enhancement needed in the MSFR conceptual design are identified, mainly related to in-core velocity and temperature fields. The reactor response following major accidental transient initiators suggests a generally benign behaviour of this reactor concept.

Modelling and analysis of the MSFR transient behaviour

FIORINA, CARLO;AUFIERO, MANUELE;CAMMI, ANTONIO;GUERRIERI, CLAUDIA RENATA;LUZZI, LELIO;RICOTTI, MARCO ENRICO
2014

Abstract

Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) were conceived at the early stages of nuclear energy in view of the favourable features fostered by a liquid fuel. They were developed as graphite-moderated thorium-fuelled breeder reactors till the seventies, when studies on this reactor concept were mostly abandoned in favour of the liquid–metal fast breeder concepts. A decade ago, the MSRs were included among the six GEN-IV systems and a core optimization process allowing for the GEN-IV main objectives led toward a fast-spectrum MSR concept (MSFR – Molten Salt Fast Reactor). Albeit advantageous in terms of U-233 breeding and/or radio-active waste burning, the new concept lacks the notable know-how available for the thermal-spectrum MSR technology. The present paper preliminarily investigates the MSR dynamics, based on the conceptual MSFR design currently available. A primary objective is to benchmark two different models of the MSFR primary circuit, both of them including a detailed and fully-coupled (node-wise) representation of turbulent fuel-salt flow, neutron diffusion, and delayed-neutron precursor diffusion and convection. A good agreement is generally observed between the adopted models, though some discrepancies exist in the temperature-field, with ensuing mild impacts on the reactor dynamics. The performed analyses are also used for a preliminary characterization of the MSFR steady-state and accidental transient response. Some points of enhancement needed in the MSFR conceptual design are identified, mainly related to in-core velocity and temperature fields. The reactor response following major accidental transient initiators suggests a generally benign behaviour of this reactor concept.
Molten Salt Reactor (MSR); Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR); Dynamics; Safety
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/762027
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