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Title: Progress Toward Molten Salt Reactor Heat Exchanger On-Line Monitoring

Abstract

Within virtually all reactor systems with heat exchangers, the thinnest barriers between primary and secondary fluids are the heat exchanger tubes. Consistent with light water reactor experience, the advanced reactor heat exchangers are the most susceptible regions for corrosion and leakage (NRC, 2019). Moreover, traditional inspections and repairs using robotics will be expensive or impractical. On-line structural health corrosion monitoring (OLSHM) is therefore desirable to detect tube degradation prior to leaks that may allow mixing of heat exchanger fluids. Rhetorically many molten salt reactor (MSR) designers plan for on-line monitoring of critical reactor components including heat exchangers but there are no proven OLSHM sensors or systems for MSR heat exchangers. Guided wave ultrasound from the tube-end or ID using conventional low-temperature piezoelectric sensors has been shown to be sensitive to pits and cracks less than 50% through-wall in long pipes and tubes (Narayanan M.M., 2019) . Mode and frequency selection are important for practical sensor design decisions and ultimate performance. The L-0 wave-mode is easily excited by L-mode transducers but they have surface normal wave motion that will be sensitive to and more attenuative because of fluid interaction with the tube surface (Rose J.L., 1994). Shear Horizontal (SH) wave modesmore » have material motion parallel to the tube surface therefore are virtually unaffected by fluid interaction. For SH-0 to be nondispersive in steel, the frequency-thickness product (MHz-mm) must be less than approximately 1.5. SH mode transducers must be coupled by a material that can support shear stress; a thin layer of honey works well for temporary sensors and an adhesive or a brazed metallurgical bond for permanent sensors. If sensors are incorporated into the fabrication process, the same kinds of SH-0 waves can be generated from the stagnant flow area of the tube OD without compromising the heat-exchange tube function. Piezoelectric materials are also available that can withstand harsh temperatures of molten salt heat exchangers (Stevenson T., 2015) (Machura et al., 2008). Though they may not have as high-performance characteristics, their performance only needs to be good enough to detect flaws of interest. This project attempts to demonstrate feasibility to develop a sensor that can be sensitive to flaws of interest and perform long-term monitoring of a molten salt reactor heat exchanger. Benefits to the advanced reactor system include: • Minimizing the expense of a reactor shut down for periodic inspection—only shutdown for cause. • Reduce risk of unexpected tube rupture by detecting flaws before they grow to through-wall leaks. • Cost reduction by minimizing need to design for manual/robotic inspectability. Transducer design, characterization of the beam profile, and ultrasonic pulse-echo responses from a representative heat exchange tube with fabricated flaw types are discussed.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1686076
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-153505
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Transactions of the American Nuclear Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 1
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
On-Line Tube Monitor, Guided Wave Ultrasound, SH-0 Ultrasound, Tube Inspection, Heat Exchanger Inspection

Citation Formats

Glass, Samuel W., Good, Morris S., Forsi, Ericka L., and Montgomery, Robert O. Progress Toward Molten Salt Reactor Heat Exchanger On-Line Monitoring. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. doi:10.13182/T122-32590.
Glass, Samuel W., Good, Morris S., Forsi, Ericka L., & Montgomery, Robert O. Progress Toward Molten Salt Reactor Heat Exchanger On-Line Monitoring. United States. https://doi.org/10.13182/T122-32590
Glass, Samuel W., Good, Morris S., Forsi, Ericka L., and Montgomery, Robert O. Mon . "Progress Toward Molten Salt Reactor Heat Exchanger On-Line Monitoring". United States. https://doi.org/10.13182/T122-32590.
@article{osti_1686076,
title = {Progress Toward Molten Salt Reactor Heat Exchanger On-Line Monitoring},
author = {Glass, Samuel W. and Good, Morris S. and Forsi, Ericka L. and Montgomery, Robert O.},
abstractNote = {Within virtually all reactor systems with heat exchangers, the thinnest barriers between primary and secondary fluids are the heat exchanger tubes. Consistent with light water reactor experience, the advanced reactor heat exchangers are the most susceptible regions for corrosion and leakage (NRC, 2019). Moreover, traditional inspections and repairs using robotics will be expensive or impractical. On-line structural health corrosion monitoring (OLSHM) is therefore desirable to detect tube degradation prior to leaks that may allow mixing of heat exchanger fluids. Rhetorically many molten salt reactor (MSR) designers plan for on-line monitoring of critical reactor components including heat exchangers but there are no proven OLSHM sensors or systems for MSR heat exchangers. Guided wave ultrasound from the tube-end or ID using conventional low-temperature piezoelectric sensors has been shown to be sensitive to pits and cracks less than 50% through-wall in long pipes and tubes (Narayanan M.M., 2019) . Mode and frequency selection are important for practical sensor design decisions and ultimate performance. The L-0 wave-mode is easily excited by L-mode transducers but they have surface normal wave motion that will be sensitive to and more attenuative because of fluid interaction with the tube surface (Rose J.L., 1994). Shear Horizontal (SH) wave modes have material motion parallel to the tube surface therefore are virtually unaffected by fluid interaction. For SH-0 to be nondispersive in steel, the frequency-thickness product (MHz-mm) must be less than approximately 1.5. SH mode transducers must be coupled by a material that can support shear stress; a thin layer of honey works well for temporary sensors and an adhesive or a brazed metallurgical bond for permanent sensors. If sensors are incorporated into the fabrication process, the same kinds of SH-0 waves can be generated from the stagnant flow area of the tube OD without compromising the heat-exchange tube function. Piezoelectric materials are also available that can withstand harsh temperatures of molten salt heat exchangers (Stevenson T., 2015) (Machura et al., 2008). Though they may not have as high-performance characteristics, their performance only needs to be good enough to detect flaws of interest. This project attempts to demonstrate feasibility to develop a sensor that can be sensitive to flaws of interest and perform long-term monitoring of a molten salt reactor heat exchanger. Benefits to the advanced reactor system include: • Minimizing the expense of a reactor shut down for periodic inspection—only shutdown for cause. • Reduce risk of unexpected tube rupture by detecting flaws before they grow to through-wall leaks. • Cost reduction by minimizing need to design for manual/robotic inspectability. Transducer design, characterization of the beam profile, and ultrasonic pulse-echo responses from a representative heat exchange tube with fabricated flaw types are discussed.},
doi = {10.13182/T122-32590},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1686076}, journal = {Transactions of the American Nuclear Society},
number = 1,
volume = 122,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {6}
}