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Title: Two-Dimensional Neutronic and Fuel Cycle Analysis of the Transatomic Power Molten Salt Reactor

Abstract

This status report presents the results from the first phase of the collaboration between Transatomic Power Corporation (TAP) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to provide neutronic and fuel cycle analysis of the TAP core design through the Department of Energy Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, Nuclear Energy Voucher program. The TAP design is a molten salt reactor using movable moderator rods to shift the neutron spectrum in the core from mostly epithermal at beginning of life to thermal at end of life. Additional developments in the ChemTriton modeling and simulation tool provide the critical moderator-to-fuel ratio searches and time-dependent parameters necessary to simulate the continuously changing physics in this complex system. Results from simulations with these tools show agreement with TAP-calculated performance metrics for core lifetime, discharge burnup, and salt volume fraction, verifying the viability of reducing actinide waste production with this design. Additional analyses of time step sizes, mass feed rates and enrichments, and isotopic removals provide additional information to make informed design decisions. This work further demonstrates capabilities of ORNL modeling and simulation tools for analysis of molten salt reactor designs and strongly positions this effort for the upcoming three-dimensional core analysis.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division
  2. Transatomic Power Corporation, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Transatomic Power Corporation, Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN). Nuclear Energy Voucher Program
OSTI Identifier:
1340461
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2016/742
NT0103000; NENT172; TRN: US1701507
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; REACTOR DESIGN; MOLTEN SALT REACTORS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; NUCLEAR FUELS; REACTOR KINETICS; FUEL CYCLE; NEUTRON SPECTRA; SPECTRAL SHIFT; TIME DEPENDENCE; TWO-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; MODERATORS; BURNUP; ENRICHMENT; LIFETIME; PERFORMANCE; REACTOR CORES

Citation Formats

Betzler, Benjamin R., Powers, Jeffrey J., Worrall, Andrew, Robertson, Sean, Dewan, Leslie, and Massie, Mark. Two-Dimensional Neutronic and Fuel Cycle Analysis of the Transatomic Power Molten Salt Reactor. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1340461.
Betzler, Benjamin R., Powers, Jeffrey J., Worrall, Andrew, Robertson, Sean, Dewan, Leslie, & Massie, Mark. Two-Dimensional Neutronic and Fuel Cycle Analysis of the Transatomic Power Molten Salt Reactor. United States. doi:10.2172/1340461.
Betzler, Benjamin R., Powers, Jeffrey J., Worrall, Andrew, Robertson, Sean, Dewan, Leslie, and Massie, Mark. Sun . "Two-Dimensional Neutronic and Fuel Cycle Analysis of the Transatomic Power Molten Salt Reactor". United States. doi:10.2172/1340461. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340461.
@article{osti_1340461,
title = {Two-Dimensional Neutronic and Fuel Cycle Analysis of the Transatomic Power Molten Salt Reactor},
author = {Betzler, Benjamin R. and Powers, Jeffrey J. and Worrall, Andrew and Robertson, Sean and Dewan, Leslie and Massie, Mark},
abstractNote = {This status report presents the results from the first phase of the collaboration between Transatomic Power Corporation (TAP) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to provide neutronic and fuel cycle analysis of the TAP core design through the Department of Energy Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, Nuclear Energy Voucher program. The TAP design is a molten salt reactor using movable moderator rods to shift the neutron spectrum in the core from mostly epithermal at beginning of life to thermal at end of life. Additional developments in the ChemTriton modeling and simulation tool provide the critical moderator-to-fuel ratio searches and time-dependent parameters necessary to simulate the continuously changing physics in this complex system. Results from simulations with these tools show agreement with TAP-calculated performance metrics for core lifetime, discharge burnup, and salt volume fraction, verifying the viability of reducing actinide waste production with this design. Additional analyses of time step sizes, mass feed rates and enrichments, and isotopic removals provide additional information to make informed design decisions. This work further demonstrates capabilities of ORNL modeling and simulation tools for analysis of molten salt reactor designs and strongly positions this effort for the upcoming three-dimensional core analysis.},
doi = {10.2172/1340461},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Sun Jan 15 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report presents results from a collaboration between Transatomic Power Corporation (TAP) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to provide neutronic and fuel cycle analysis of the TAP core design through the Department of Energy Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) Nuclear Energy Voucher program. The TAP concept is a molten salt reactor using configurable zirconium hydride moderator rod assemblies to shift the neutron spectrum in the core from mostly epithermal at beginning of life to thermal at end of life. Additional developments in the ChemTriton modeling and simulation tool provide the critical moderator-to-fuel ratio searches and time-dependent parametersmore » necessary to simulate the continuously changing physics in this complex system. The implementation of continuous-energy Monte Carlo transport and depletion tools in ChemTriton provide for full-core three-dimensional modeling and simulation. Results from simulations with these tools show agreement with TAP-calculated performance metrics for core lifetime, discharge burnup, and salt volume fraction, verifying the viability of reducing actinide waste production with this concept. Additional analyses of mass feed rates and enrichments, isotopic removals, tritium generation, core power distribution, core vessel helium generation, moderator rod heat deposition, and reactivity coeffcients provide additional information to make informed design decisions. This work demonstrates capabilities of ORNL modeling and simulation tools for neutronic and fuel cycle analysis of molten salt reactor concepts.« less
  • In September 2016, reactor physics measurements were conducted at Research Centre Rez (RC Rez) using the FLiBe (2 7LiF + BeF 2) salt from the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) in the LR-0 low power nuclear reactor. These experiments were intended to inform on neutron spectral effects and nuclear data uncertainties for advanced reactor systems using FLiBe salt in a thermal neutron energy spectrum. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), in collaboration with RC Rez, performed sensitivity/uncertainty (S/U) analyses of these experiments as part of the ongoing collaboration between the United States and the Czech Republic on civilian nuclear energy researchmore » and development. The objectives of these analyses were (1) to identify potential sources of bias in fluoride salt-cooled and salt-fueled reactor simulations resulting from cross section uncertainties, and (2) to produce the sensitivity of neutron multiplication to cross section data on an energy-dependent basis for specific nuclides. This report provides a final report on the S/U analyses of critical experiments at the LR-0 Reactor relevant to fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactor (FHR) and liquid-fueled molten salt reactor (MSR) concepts. In the future, these S/U analyses could be used to inform the design of additional FLiBe-based experiments using the salt from MSRE. The key finding of this work is that, for both solid and liquid fueled fluoride salt reactors, radiative capture in 7Li is the most significant contributor to potential bias in neutronics calculations within the FLiBe salt.« less
  • ABS> Fuel reprocessing methods are being investigated for molten salt nuclear reactors which use LiF--BeF/sub 2/ salt as a solvent for UF/sub 4/ and ThF/sub 4/. A liquid HF dissolution procedure coupled with fluorination has been developed for recovery of the uranium and LiF- BeF/sub 2/ solvent salt which is highly enriched in Li/sup 7/. The recovered salt is decontaminated in the process from the major reactor poisons; namely, rare earths and neptunium. A brief investigation of alternate methods, including oxide precipitation, partial freezing, and metal reduction, indicated that such methods may give some separation of the solvent salt frommore » reactor poisons, but they do not appear to be sufficiently quantitative for a simple processing operation. Solubilities of LiF and BeF/sub 2/ in aqueous 70t0 100% HF are presented. The BeF/sub 2/ solubility is appreciably increased in the presence of water and large amounts of LiF. Salt solubilities of 150 g/liter are attainable. Tracer experiments indicate that rare earth solubilities, relative to LiF-- BeF/sub 2/ solvent salt solubility, increase from about 10/sup -4/ mole% in 98% HF to 0.003 mole% in 80% HF. Fluorination of uranium from LiF--BeF/sub 2/ salt was demonstrated. This appears feasible also for the recovery of the relatively small ccncentration of uranium produced in the LiF- BeF/sub 2/ThF/sub 4/ blanket. A proposed chemical flowsheet is presented on the basis of this exploratory work as applied to the semicontinuous processing of a 600 Mw power reactor. (auth)« less