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Title: Advanced High-Temperature Reactor Dynamic System Model Development: April 2012 Status

The Advanced High-Temperature Reactor (AHTR) is a large-output fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (FHR). An early-phase preconceptual design of a 1500 MW(e) power plant was developed in 2011 [Refs. 1 and 2]. An updated version of this plant is shown as Fig. 1. FHRs feature low-pressure liquid fluoride salt cooling, coated-particle fuel, a high-temperature power cycle, and fully passive decay heat rejection. The AHTR is designed to be a “walk away” reactor that requires no action to prevent large off-site releases following even severe reactor accidents. This report describes the development of dynamic system models used to further the AHTR design toward that goal. These models predict system response during warmup, startup, normal operation, and limited off-normal operating conditions. Severe accidents that include a loss-of-fluid inventory are not currently modeled. The scope of the models is limited to the plant power system, including the reactor, the primary and intermediate heat transport systems, the power conversion system, and safety-related or auxiliary heat removal systems. The primary coolant system, the intermediate heat transport system and the reactor building structure surrounding them are shown in Fig. 2. These systems are modeled in the most detail because the passive interaction of the primary system with themore » surrounding structure and heat removal systems, and ultimately the environment, protects the reactor fuel and the vessel from damage during severe reactor transients. The reactor silo also plays an important role during system warmup. The dynamic system modeling tools predict system performance and response. The goal is to accurately predict temperatures and pressures within the primary, intermediate, and power conversion systems and to study the impacts of design changes on those responses. The models are design tools and are not intended to be used in reactor qualification. The important details to capture in the primary system relate to flows within the reactor vessel during severe events and the resulting temperature profiles (temperature and duration) for major components. Critical components include the fuel, reactor vessel, primary piping, and the primary-to-intermediate heat exchangers (P-IHXs). The major AHTR power system loops are shown in Fig. 3. The intermediate heat transfer system is a group of three pumped salt loops that transports the energy produced in the primary system to the power conversion system. Two dynamic system models are used to analyze the AHTR. A Matlab/Simulink-based model initiated in 2011 has been updated to reflect the evolving design parameters related to the heat flows associated with the reactor vessel. The Matlab model utilizes simplified flow assumptions within the vessel and incorporates an empirical representation of the Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling System (DRACS). A Dymola/Modelica model incorporates a more sophisticated representation of primary coolant flow and a physics-based representation of the three-loop DRACS thermal hydraulics. This model is not currently operating in a fully integrated mode. The Matlab model serves as a prototype and provides verification for the Dymola model, and its use will be phased out as the Dymola model nears completion. The heat exchangers in the system are sized using spreadsheet-based, steady-state calculations. The detail features of the heat exchangers are programmed into the dynamic models, and the overall dimensions are used to generate realistic plant designs. For the modeling cases where the emphasis is on understanding responses within the intermediate and primary systems, the power conversion system may be modeled as a simple boundary condition at the intermediate-to-power conversion system heat exchangers.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE NE Office of Nuclear Reactor Technologies (NE-7)
Country of Publication:
United States
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS advanced high-temperature reactors; fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor