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Title: Molten Salt Reactor Signatures and Modeling Study

Abstract

Molten salt reactor (MSR) technologies, either liquid fueled and cooled or only liquid cooled, pose specific, unique challenges for safeguards of the special nuclear material during the operation, fueling, and maintenance of the reactor. MSRs are one type of Generation IV technologies being invested in and considered for U.S. domestic fabrication primarily for electricity and process heat production. These designs have generated growing commercial interest for several reasons, including high (≈40%) thermal efficiency, ease of fueling, improved use of uranium fuel, potential utilization of thorium fuel, and proposed inherent safety features. U.S. companies have several planned designs that differ in fuel, cooling, and neutron energy spectrum. Driven by commercial interest and the intent of licensing MSRs, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has developed a vision and strategy to accommodate non-light water reactors (LWR), which include MSRs (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2019). In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) Office of Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART), …sponsors research, development and deployment (RD&D) activities through its Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC), and Advanced Small Modular Reactor (aSMR) programs to promote safety, technical, economical, and environmental advancements of innovative Generation IV nuclearmore » energy technologies. Reactor types considering the use of salts, liquid metals, or gases for coolant fall under both ARC and aSMR. Therefore, Research Design & Development is being pursued by DOE-NE through national laboratories, universities, and international and industrial collaborations. Additionally, the U.S. is a member of the Gen IV International Forum (GIF). The GIF is a cooperative, multinational organization to guide and carry out research and development needed for the GEN IV reactor systems (Forum 2018). GIF evaluated numerous reactor concepts and down-selected to the six most feasible advanced reactor technologies: gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR), lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR), MSR, supercritical watercooled reactor (SCWR), sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), and very high temperature reactor (VHTR). In support of the growing interest domestically and internationally, the Materials Protection, Accounting, and Control Technologies (MPACT) campaign, under the DOE-NE Fuel Cycle Technologies (FCT) program, engages in R&D activities by developing advanced instrumentation and analysis for safeguards and security of modern, advanced nuclear fuel cycle (non-LWR) facilities. Because of the historic experience in the operation of the Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE) and the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) (Robertson, MSRE Design and Operations Report Part I 1965), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is heavily engaged in the various R&D activities through the DOE complex related to MSRs including national technical leadership of the DOE-NE MSR campaign. This report discusses and presents the outcomes of the FY19 MPACT MSR Safeguards task. The challenges presented by MSRs for nuclear material accountancy and control (NMAC) and associated safeguards will be investigated. The objective of this research is to explore and compile the safeguards requirements and identify measurement signatures through an initial high-level MSR design and develop complementary advanced simulation and modeling capabilities. A high-level ORNL-developed MSR design called the Molten Salt Demonstration Reactor (MSDR) (Bettis, Alexander and Watts 1972) was used as the target reactor design for this research. The MSDR model incorporates technology from the MSRE and the Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (Robertson, Conceptual Design of a Single-Fluid Molten-Salt Breeder Reactor 1971). But the MSDR is a 750 MWth graphite moderated liquid fueled (low-enriched uranium) MSR compared to the MSRE’s of 7.5 MWth. The focus of this report is to discuss the evaluation of novel signatures, correlations, and indicators to understand the applicability of current safeguards instrumentation to MSRs using the modeling results from the MSDR.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1761616
Report Number(s):
ORNL/SPR-2020/1836
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Dion, Michael P., Worrall, Louise G., Croft, Stephen, and Scott, Logan M.. Molten Salt Reactor Signatures and Modeling Study. United States: N. p., 2021. Web. doi:10.2172/1761616.
Dion, Michael P., Worrall, Louise G., Croft, Stephen, & Scott, Logan M.. Molten Salt Reactor Signatures and Modeling Study. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1761616
Dion, Michael P., Worrall, Louise G., Croft, Stephen, and Scott, Logan M.. 2021. "Molten Salt Reactor Signatures and Modeling Study". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1761616. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1761616.
@article{osti_1761616,
title = {Molten Salt Reactor Signatures and Modeling Study},
author = {Dion, Michael P. and Worrall, Louise G. and Croft, Stephen and Scott, Logan M.},
abstractNote = {Molten salt reactor (MSR) technologies, either liquid fueled and cooled or only liquid cooled, pose specific, unique challenges for safeguards of the special nuclear material during the operation, fueling, and maintenance of the reactor. MSRs are one type of Generation IV technologies being invested in and considered for U.S. domestic fabrication primarily for electricity and process heat production. These designs have generated growing commercial interest for several reasons, including high (≈40%) thermal efficiency, ease of fueling, improved use of uranium fuel, potential utilization of thorium fuel, and proposed inherent safety features. U.S. companies have several planned designs that differ in fuel, cooling, and neutron energy spectrum. Driven by commercial interest and the intent of licensing MSRs, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has developed a vision and strategy to accommodate non-light water reactors (LWR), which include MSRs (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 2019). In addition, the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) Office of Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART), …sponsors research, development and deployment (RD&D) activities through its Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP), Advanced Reactor Concepts (ARC), and Advanced Small Modular Reactor (aSMR) programs to promote safety, technical, economical, and environmental advancements of innovative Generation IV nuclear energy technologies. Reactor types considering the use of salts, liquid metals, or gases for coolant fall under both ARC and aSMR. Therefore, Research Design & Development is being pursued by DOE-NE through national laboratories, universities, and international and industrial collaborations. Additionally, the U.S. is a member of the Gen IV International Forum (GIF). The GIF is a cooperative, multinational organization to guide and carry out research and development needed for the GEN IV reactor systems (Forum 2018). GIF evaluated numerous reactor concepts and down-selected to the six most feasible advanced reactor technologies: gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR), lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR), MSR, supercritical watercooled reactor (SCWR), sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), and very high temperature reactor (VHTR). In support of the growing interest domestically and internationally, the Materials Protection, Accounting, and Control Technologies (MPACT) campaign, under the DOE-NE Fuel Cycle Technologies (FCT) program, engages in R&D activities by developing advanced instrumentation and analysis for safeguards and security of modern, advanced nuclear fuel cycle (non-LWR) facilities. Because of the historic experience in the operation of the Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE) and the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) (Robertson, MSRE Design and Operations Report Part I 1965), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is heavily engaged in the various R&D activities through the DOE complex related to MSRs including national technical leadership of the DOE-NE MSR campaign. This report discusses and presents the outcomes of the FY19 MPACT MSR Safeguards task. The challenges presented by MSRs for nuclear material accountancy and control (NMAC) and associated safeguards will be investigated. The objective of this research is to explore and compile the safeguards requirements and identify measurement signatures through an initial high-level MSR design and develop complementary advanced simulation and modeling capabilities. A high-level ORNL-developed MSR design called the Molten Salt Demonstration Reactor (MSDR) (Bettis, Alexander and Watts 1972) was used as the target reactor design for this research. The MSDR model incorporates technology from the MSRE and the Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (Robertson, Conceptual Design of a Single-Fluid Molten-Salt Breeder Reactor 1971). But the MSDR is a 750 MWth graphite moderated liquid fueled (low-enriched uranium) MSR compared to the MSRE’s of 7.5 MWth. The focus of this report is to discuss the evaluation of novel signatures, correlations, and indicators to understand the applicability of current safeguards instrumentation to MSRs using the modeling results from the MSDR.},
doi = {10.2172/1761616},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1761616}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2021},
month = {11}
}