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Title: High Temperature Fluoride Salt Test Loop

Effective high-temperature thermal energy exchange and delivery at temperatures over 600°C has the potential of significant impact by reducing both the capital and operating cost of energy conversion and transport systems. It is one of the key technologies necessary for efficient hydrogen production and could potentially enhance efficiencies of high-temperature solar systems. Today, there are no standard commercially available high-performance heat transfer fluids above 600°C. High pressures associated with water and gaseous coolants (such as helium) at elevated temperatures impose limiting design conditions for the materials in most energy systems. Liquid salts offer high-temperature capabilities at low vapor pressures, good heat transport properties, and reasonable costs and are therefore leading candidate fluids for next-generation energy production. Liquid-fluoride-salt-cooled, graphite-moderated reactors, referred to as Fluoride Salt Reactors (FHRs), are specifically designed to exploit the excellent heat transfer properties of liquid fluoride salts while maximizing their thermal efficiency and minimizing cost. The FHR s outstanding heat transfer properties, combined with its fully passive safety, make this reactor the most technologically desirable nuclear power reactor class for next-generation energy production. Multiple FHR designs are presently being considered. These range from the Pebble Bed Advanced High Temperature Reactor (PB-AHTR) [1] design originally developed by UC-Berkeleymore » to the Small Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (SmAHTR) and the large scale FHR both being developed at ORNL [2]. The value of high-temperature, molten-salt-cooled reactors is also recognized internationally, and Czechoslovakia, France, India, and China all have salt-cooled reactor development under way. The liquid salt experiment presently being developed uses the PB-AHTR as its focus. One core design of the PB-AHTR features multiple 20 cm diameter, 3.2 m long fuel channels with 3 cm diameter graphite-based fuel pebbles slowly circulating up through the core. Molten salt coolant (FLiBe) at 700°C flows concurrently (at significantly higher velocity) with the pebbles and is used to remove heat generated in the reactor core (approximately 1280 W/pebble), and supply it to a power conversion system. Refueling equipment continuously sorts spent fuel pebbles and replaces spent or damaged pebbles with fresh fuel. By combining greater or fewer numbers of pebble channel assemblies, multiple reactor designs with varying power levels can be offered. The PB-AHTR design is discussed in detail in Reference [1] and is shown schematically in Fig. 1. Fig. 1. PB-AHTR concept (drawing taken from Peterson et al., Design and Development of the Modular PB-AHTR Proceedings of ICApp 08). Pebble behavior within the core is a key issue in proving the viability of this concept. This includes understanding the behavior of the pebbles thermally, hydraulically, and mechanically (quantifying pebble wear characteristics, flow channel wear, etc). The experiment being developed is an initial step in characterizing the pebble behavior under realistic PB-AHTR operating conditions. It focuses on thermal and hydraulic behavior of a static pebble bed using a convective salt loop to provide prototypic fluid conditions to the bed, and a unique inductive heating technique to provide prototypic heating in the pebbles. The facility design is sufficiently versatile to allow a variety of other experimentation to be performed in the future. The facility can accommodate testing of scaled reactor components or sub-components such as flow diodes, salt-to-salt heat exchangers, and improved pump designs as well as testing of refueling equipment, high temperature instrumentation, and other reactor core designs.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
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
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS liquid salt; heat transfer loop; molten salt; fluoride salt; liquid salt experimentation