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Title: Modeling a fast spectrum molten salt reactor in a systems dynamics fuel cycles code

Abstract

Molten salt reactor (MSR) concepts are being actively developed by several private companies, with some touting the fuel cycle benefits of this technology. Simulating the deployment of MSRs and their effect on fuel cycle transitions is the role of a system dynamics fuel cycles tool. However, many current fuel cycles tools have difficulty modeling MSR isotopic variations because they were designed for modeling existing reactors based on discrete fuel elements with batch fueling schemes (i.e., charge and discharge). This work presents ORION fuel cycle modeling results using a specific high power density fast spectrum MSR design. For code verification, a single-stage MSR fuel cycle was set up in ORION and results were compared with the results from the SCALE-based reactor physics model (ChemTriton). A transition scenario was set up in ORION from the current light water reactor fleet to a future fleet of MSRs to study the characteristics of an MSR that affect its performance during transition. Several transition scenarios were set with holds and delays in place that are representative of a sodium fast reactor as modeled in Evaluation Group 23 for the Fuel Cycle Options Campaign Evaluation and Screening Study. Several MSR characteristics lend to its high performancemore » and ease in transition from the current fuel cycle: fissile material is only loaded at initial startup; all fissile material is available as it is bred due to online fuel processing; and fissile material recirculating through the core is briefly held in tanks for processing and has very minimal out-of-core time (on the order of a minutes to a few days). These characteristics are in contrast to a solid-fueled reactor, which requires discharge, cooling, and fabrication of fuel all of which could take a few months to a few years and repeated loading of fresh fuel assemblies. In conclusion, a solid-fueled reactor only discharges a fraction of a core every year.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. National Nuclear Lab, Preston (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1524890
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 133; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-4549
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; Molten salt reactor; Fuel cycle analysis; Deployment analysis; ORION; SCALE; ChemTriton

Citation Formats

Davidson, Eva E., Betzler, Benjamin R., Gregg, Robert, and Worrall, Andrew. Modeling a fast spectrum molten salt reactor in a systems dynamics fuel cycles code. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2019.05.011.
Davidson, Eva E., Betzler, Benjamin R., Gregg, Robert, & Worrall, Andrew. Modeling a fast spectrum molten salt reactor in a systems dynamics fuel cycles code. United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2019.05.011.
Davidson, Eva E., Betzler, Benjamin R., Gregg, Robert, and Worrall, Andrew. Thu . "Modeling a fast spectrum molten salt reactor in a systems dynamics fuel cycles code". United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2019.05.011.
@article{osti_1524890,
title = {Modeling a fast spectrum molten salt reactor in a systems dynamics fuel cycles code},
author = {Davidson, Eva E. and Betzler, Benjamin R. and Gregg, Robert and Worrall, Andrew},
abstractNote = {Molten salt reactor (MSR) concepts are being actively developed by several private companies, with some touting the fuel cycle benefits of this technology. Simulating the deployment of MSRs and their effect on fuel cycle transitions is the role of a system dynamics fuel cycles tool. However, many current fuel cycles tools have difficulty modeling MSR isotopic variations because they were designed for modeling existing reactors based on discrete fuel elements with batch fueling schemes (i.e., charge and discharge). This work presents ORION fuel cycle modeling results using a specific high power density fast spectrum MSR design. For code verification, a single-stage MSR fuel cycle was set up in ORION and results were compared with the results from the SCALE-based reactor physics model (ChemTriton). A transition scenario was set up in ORION from the current light water reactor fleet to a future fleet of MSRs to study the characteristics of an MSR that affect its performance during transition. Several transition scenarios were set with holds and delays in place that are representative of a sodium fast reactor as modeled in Evaluation Group 23 for the Fuel Cycle Options Campaign Evaluation and Screening Study. Several MSR characteristics lend to its high performance and ease in transition from the current fuel cycle: fissile material is only loaded at initial startup; all fissile material is available as it is bred due to online fuel processing; and fissile material recirculating through the core is briefly held in tanks for processing and has very minimal out-of-core time (on the order of a minutes to a few days). These characteristics are in contrast to a solid-fueled reactor, which requires discharge, cooling, and fabrication of fuel all of which could take a few months to a few years and repeated loading of fresh fuel assemblies. In conclusion, a solid-fueled reactor only discharges a fraction of a core every year.},
doi = {10.1016/j.anucene.2019.05.011},
journal = {Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)},
issn = {0306-4549},
number = C,
volume = 133,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}