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Title: ASME code considerations for the compact heat exchanger

The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Nuclear Energy is to advance nuclear power in order to meet the nation's energy, environmental, and energy security needs. Advanced high temperature reactor systems such as sodium fast reactors and high and very high temperature gas-cooled reactors are being considered for the next generation of nuclear reactor plant designs. The coolants for these high temperature reactor systems include liquid sodium and helium gas. Supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO₂), a fluid at a temperature and pressure above the supercritical point of CO₂, is currently being investigated by DOE as a working fluid for a nuclear or fossil-heated recompression closed Brayton cycle energy conversion system that operates at 550°C (1022°F) at 200 bar (2900 psi). Higher operating temperatures are envisioned in future developments. All of these design concepts require a highly effective heat exchanger that transfers heat from the nuclear or chemical reactor to the chemical process fluid or the to the power cycle. In the nuclear designs described above, heat is transferred from the primary to the secondary loop via an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) and then from the intermediate loop to either a working process or a power cycle viamore » a secondary heat exchanger (SHX). The IHX is a component in the primary coolant loop which will be classified as "safety related." The intermediate loop will likely be classified as "not safety related but important to safety." These safety classifications have a direct bearing on heat exchanger design approaches for the IHX and SHX. The very high temperatures being considered for the VHTR will require the use of very high temperature alloys for the IHX and SHX. Material cost considerations alone will dictate that the IHX and SHX be highly effective; that is, provide high heat transfer area in a small volume. This feature must be accompanied by low pressure drop and mechanical reliability and robustness. Classic shell and tube designs will be large and costly, and may only be appropriate in steam generator service in the SHX where boiling inside the tubes occurs. For other energy conversion systems, all of these features can be met in a compact heat exchanger design. This report will examine some of the ASME Code issues that will need to be addressed to allow use of a Code-qualified compact heat exchanger in IHX or SHX nuclear service. Most effort will focus on the IHX, since the safety-related (Class A) design rules are more extensive than those for important-to-safety (Class B) or commercial rules that are relevant to the SHX.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. MPR Associates Inc., Alexandria, VA (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
RC0416000; NERC015
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States