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Title: Development of a plant dynamics computer code for analysis of a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle energy converter coupled to a natural circulation lead-cooled fast reactor.

Abstract

STAR-LM is a lead-cooled pool-type fast reactor concept operating under natural circulation of the coolant. The reactor core power is 400 MWt. The open-lattice core consists of fuel pins attached to the core support plate, (the does not consist of removable fuel assemblies). The coolant flows outside of the fuel pins. The fuel is transuranic nitride, fabricated from reprocessed LWR spent fuel. The cladding material is HT-9 stainless steel; the steady-state peak cladding temperature is 650 C. The coolant is single-phase liquid lead under atmospheric pressure; the core inlet and outlet temperatures are 438 C and 578 C, respectively. (The Pb coolant freezing and boiling temperatures are 327 C and 1749 C, respectively). The coolant is contained inside of a reactor vessel. The vessel material is Type 316 stainless steel. The reactor is autonomous meaning that the reactor power is self-regulated based on inherent reactivity feedbacks and no external power control (through control rods) is utilized. The shutdown (scram) control rods are used for startup and shutdown and to stop the fission reaction in case of an emergency. The heat from the reactor is transferred to the S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle in in-reactor heat exchangers (IRHX) located inside the reactormore » vessel. The IRHXs are shell-and-tube type heat exchangers with lead flowing downwards on the shell side and CO{sub 2} flowing upwards on the tube side. No intermediate circuit is utilized. The guard vessel surrounds the reactor vessel to contain the coolant, in the very unlikely event of reactor vessel failure. The Reactor Vessel Auxiliary Cooling System (RVACS) implementing the natural circulation of air flowing upwards over the guard vessel is used to cool the reactor, in the case of loss of normal heat removal through the IRHXs. The RVACS is always in operation. The gap between the vessels is filled with liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) to enhance the heat removal by air by significantly reducing the thermal resistance of a gas-filled gap.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
910536
Report Number(s):
ANL-06/27
TRN: US0704255
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; BRAYTON CYCLE; CARBON DIOXIDE; COMPUTER CODES; CONTROL ELEMENTS; COOLING SYSTEMS; FAST REACTORS; FUEL PINS; HEAT EXCHANGERS; NATURAL CONVECTION; REACTOR CORES; REACTOR VESSELS; SPENT FUELS; STAINLESS STEELS

Citation Formats

Moisseytsev, A., and Sienicki, J. J.. Development of a plant dynamics computer code for analysis of a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle energy converter coupled to a natural circulation lead-cooled fast reactor.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/910536.
Moisseytsev, A., & Sienicki, J. J.. Development of a plant dynamics computer code for analysis of a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle energy converter coupled to a natural circulation lead-cooled fast reactor.. United States. doi:10.2172/910536.
Moisseytsev, A., and Sienicki, J. J.. Thu . "Development of a plant dynamics computer code for analysis of a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle energy converter coupled to a natural circulation lead-cooled fast reactor.". United States. doi:10.2172/910536. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/910536.
@article{osti_910536,
title = {Development of a plant dynamics computer code for analysis of a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle energy converter coupled to a natural circulation lead-cooled fast reactor.},
author = {Moisseytsev, A. and Sienicki, J. J.},
abstractNote = {STAR-LM is a lead-cooled pool-type fast reactor concept operating under natural circulation of the coolant. The reactor core power is 400 MWt. The open-lattice core consists of fuel pins attached to the core support plate, (the does not consist of removable fuel assemblies). The coolant flows outside of the fuel pins. The fuel is transuranic nitride, fabricated from reprocessed LWR spent fuel. The cladding material is HT-9 stainless steel; the steady-state peak cladding temperature is 650 C. The coolant is single-phase liquid lead under atmospheric pressure; the core inlet and outlet temperatures are 438 C and 578 C, respectively. (The Pb coolant freezing and boiling temperatures are 327 C and 1749 C, respectively). The coolant is contained inside of a reactor vessel. The vessel material is Type 316 stainless steel. The reactor is autonomous meaning that the reactor power is self-regulated based on inherent reactivity feedbacks and no external power control (through control rods) is utilized. The shutdown (scram) control rods are used for startup and shutdown and to stop the fission reaction in case of an emergency. The heat from the reactor is transferred to the S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle in in-reactor heat exchangers (IRHX) located inside the reactor vessel. The IRHXs are shell-and-tube type heat exchangers with lead flowing downwards on the shell side and CO{sub 2} flowing upwards on the tube side. No intermediate circuit is utilized. The guard vessel surrounds the reactor vessel to contain the coolant, in the very unlikely event of reactor vessel failure. The Reactor Vessel Auxiliary Cooling System (RVACS) implementing the natural circulation of air flowing upwards over the guard vessel is used to cool the reactor, in the case of loss of normal heat removal through the IRHXs. The RVACS is always in operation. The gap between the vessels is filled with liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) to enhance the heat removal by air by significantly reducing the thermal resistance of a gas-filled gap.},
doi = {10.2172/910536},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 08 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 08 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • No abstract prepared.
  • The supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton cycle is a promising advanced alternative to the Rankine steam cycle and recuperated gas Brayton cycle for the energy converters of specific reactor concepts belonging to the U.S. Department of Energy Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative. A new plant dynamics analysis computer code has been developed for simulation of the S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle coupled to an autonomous, natural circulation lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR). The plant dynamics code was used to simulate the whole-plant response to accident conditions. The specific design features of the reactor concept influencing passive safety are discussed andmore » accident scenarios are identified for analysis. Results of calculations of the whole-plant response to loss-of-heat sink, loss-of-load, and pipe break accidents are demonstrated. The passive safety performance of the reactor concept is confirmed by the results of the plant dynamics code calculations for the selected accident scenarios.« less
  • The Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton Cycle is a promising advanced alternative to the Rankine saturated steam cycle and recuperated gas Brayton cycle for the energy converters of specific reactor concepts belonging to the U.S. Department of Energy Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems Initiative. A new plant dynamics analysis computer code has been developed for simulation of the S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle coupled to an autonomous, natural circulation Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor (LFR). The plant dynamics code was used to simulate the whole-plant response to accident conditions. The specific design features of the reactor concept influencing passive safety are discussedmore » and accident scenarios are identified for analysis. Results of calculations of the whole-plant response to loss-of-heat sink, loss-of-load, and pipe break accidents are demonstrated. The passive safety performance of the reactor concept is confirmed by the results of the plant dynamics code calculations for the selected accident scenarios. (authors)« less
  • Significant progress has been made in the ongoing development of the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) Plant Dynamics Code (PDC), the ongoing investigation and development of control strategies, and the analysis of system transient behavior for supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton cycles. Several code modifications have been introduced during FY2011 to extend the range of applicability of the PDC and to improve its calculational stability and speed. A new and innovative approach was developed to couple the Plant Dynamics Code for S-CO{sub 2} cycle calculations with SAS4A/SASSYS-1 Liquid Metal Reactor Code System calculations for the transient system level behavior onmore » the reactor side of a Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) or Lead-Cooled Fast Reactor (LFR). The new code system allows use of the full capabilities of both codes such that whole-plant transients can now be simulated without additional user interaction. Several other code modifications, including the introduction of compressor surge control, a new approach for determining the solution time step for efficient computational speed, an updated treatment of S-CO{sub 2} cycle flow mergers and splits, a modified enthalpy equation to improve the treatment of negative flow, and a revised solution of the reactor heat exchanger (RHX) equations coupling the S-CO{sub 2} cycle to the reactor, were introduced to the PDC in FY2011. All of these modifications have improved the code computational stability and computational speed, while not significantly affecting the results of transient calculations. The improved PDC was used to continue the investigation of S-CO{sub 2} cycle control and transient behavior. The coupled PDC-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code capability was used to study the dynamic characteristics of a S-CO{sub 2} cycle coupled to a SFR plant. Cycle control was investigated in terms of the ability of the cycle to respond to a linear reduction in the electrical grid demand from 100% to 0% at a rate of 5%/minute. It was determined that utilization of turbine throttling control below 50% load improves the cycle efficiency significantly. Consequently, the cycle control strategy has been updated to include turbine throttle valve control. The new control strategy still relies on inventory control in the 50%-90% load range and turbine bypass for fine and fast generator output adjustments, but it now also includes turbine throttling control in the 0%-50% load range. In an attempt to investigate the feasibility of using the S-CO{sub 2} cycle for normal decay heat removal from the reactor, the cycle control study was extended beyond the investigation of normal load following. It was shown that such operation is possible with the extension of the inventory and the turbine throttling controls. However, the cycle operation in this range is calculated to be so inefficient that energy would need to be supplied from the electrical grid assuming that the generator could be capable of being operated in a motoring mode with an input electrical energy from the grid having a magnitude of about 20% of the nominal plant output electrical power level in order to maintain circulation of the CO{sub 2} in the cycle. The work on investigation of cycle operation at low power level will be continued in the future. In addition to the cycle control study, the coupled PDC-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code system was also used to simulate thermal transients in the sodium-to-CO{sub 2} heat exchanger. Several possible conditions with the potential to introduce significant changes to the heat exchanger temperatures were identified and simulated. The conditions range from reactor scram and primary sodium pump failure or intermediate sodium pump failure on the reactor side to pipe breaks and valve malfunctions on the S-CO{sub 2} side. It was found that the maximum possible rate of the heat exchanger wall temperature change for the particular heat exchanger design assumed is limited to {+-}7 C/s for less than 10 seconds. Modeling in the Plant Dynamics Code has been compared with available data from the Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) small-scale S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle demonstration that is being assembled in a phased approach currently at Barber-Nichols Inc. and at SNL in the future. The available data was obtained with an earlier configuration of the S-CO{sub 2} loop involving only a single-turbo-alternator-compressor (TAC) instead of two TACs, a single low temperature recuperator (LTR) instead of both a LTR and a high temperature recuperator (HTR), and fewer than the later to be installed full set of electric heaters. Due to the absence of the full heating capability as well as the lack of a high temperature recuperator providing additional recuperation, the temperature conditions obtained with the loop are too low for the loop conditions to be prototypical of the S-CO{sub 2} cycle.« less
  • Significant progress has been made on the development of a control strategy for the supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton cycle enabling removal of power from an autonomous load following Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) down to decay heat levels such that the S-CO{sub 2} cycle can be used to cool the reactor until decay heat can be removed by the normal shutdown heat removal system or a passive decay heat removal system such as Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling System (DRACS) loops with DRACS in-vessel heat exchangers. This capability of the new control strategy eliminates the need for use of amore » separate shutdown heat removal system which might also use supercritical CO{sub 2}. It has been found that this capability can be achieved by introducing a new control mechanism involving shaft speed control for the common shaft joining the turbine and two compressors following reduction of the load demand from the electrical grid to zero. Following disconnection of the generator from the electrical grid, heat is removed from the intermediate sodium circuit through the sodium-to-CO{sub 2} heat exchanger, the turbine solely drives the two compressors, and heat is rejected from the cycle through the CO{sub 2}-to-water cooler. To investigate the effectiveness of shaft speed control, calculations are carried out using the coupled Plant Dynamics Code-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code for a linear load reduction transient for a 1000 MWt metallic-fueled SFR with autonomous load following. No deliberate motion of control rods or adjustment of sodium pump speeds is assumed to take place. It is assumed that the S-CO{sub 2} turbomachinery shaft speed linearly decreases from 100 to 20% nominal following reduction of grid load to zero. The reactor power is calculated to autonomously decrease down to 3% nominal providing a lengthy window in time for the switchover to the normal shutdown heat removal system or for a passive decay heat removal system to become effective. However, the calculations reveal that the compressor conditions are calculated to approach surge such that the need for a surge control system for each compressor is identified. Thus, it is demonstrated that the S-CO{sub 2} cycle can operate in the initial decay heat removal mode even with autonomous reactor control. Because external power is not needed to drive the compressors, the results show that the S-CO{sub 2} cycle can be used for initial decay heat removal for a lengthy interval in time in the absence of any off-site electrical power. The turbine provides sufficient power to drive the compressors. Combined with autonomous reactor control, this represents a significant safety advantage of the S-CO{sub 2} cycle by maintaining removal of the reactor power until the core decay heat falls to levels well below those for which the passive decay heat removal system is designed. The new control strategy is an alternative to a split-shaft layout involving separate power and compressor turbines which had previously been identified as a promising approach enabling heat removal from a SFR at low power levels. The current results indicate that the split-shaft configuration does not provide any significant benefits for the S-CO{sub 2} cycle over the current single-shaft layout with shaft speed control. It has been demonstrated that when connected to the grid the single-shaft cycle can effectively follow the load over the entire range. No compressor speed variation is needed while power is delivered to the grid. When the system is disconnected from the grid, the shaft speed can be changed as effectively as it would be with the split-shaft arrangement. In the split-shaft configuration, zero generator power means disconnection of the power turbine, such that the resulting system will be almost identical to the single-shaft arrangement. Without this advantage of the split-shaft configuration, the economic benefits of the single-shaft arrangement, provided by just one turbine and lower losses at the design point, are more important to the overall cycle performance. Therefore, the single-shaft configuration shall be retained as the reference arrangement for S-CO{sub 2} cycle power converter preconceptual designs. Improvements to the ANL Plant Dynamics Code have been carried out. The major code improvement is the introduction of a restart capability which simplifies investigation of control strategies for very long transients. Another code modification is transfer of the entire code to a new Intel Fortran complier; the execution of the code using the new compiler was verified by demonstrating that the same results are obtained as when the previous Compaq Visual Fortran compiler was used.« less