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Title: Development of safety analysis codes and experimental validation for a very high temperature gas-cooled reactor Final report

The very high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (VHTR) is envisioned as a single- or dual-purpose reactor for electricity and hydrogen generation. The concept has average coolant temperatures above 9000C and operational fuel temperatures above 12500C. The concept provides the potential for increased energy conversion efficiency and for high-temperature process heat application in addition to power generation. While all the High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (HTGR) concepts have sufficiently high temperature to support process heat applications, such as coal gasification, desalination or cogenerative processes, the VHTR’s higher temperatures allow broader applications, including thermochemical hydrogen production. However, the very high temperatures of this reactor concept can be detrimental to safety if a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) occurs. Following the loss of coolant through the break and coolant depressurization, air will enter the core through the break by molecular diffusion and ultimately by natural convection, leading to oxidation of the in-core graphite structure and fuel. The oxidation will accelerate heatup of the reactor core and the release of toxic gasses (CO and CO2) and fission products. Thus, without any effective countermeasures, a pipe break may lead to significant fuel damage and fission product release. Prior to the start of this Korean/United States collaboration, no computer codesmore » were available that had been sufficiently developed and validated to reliably simulate a LOCA in the VHTR. Therefore, we have worked for the past three years on developing and validating advanced computational methods for simulating LOCAs in a VHTR. Research Objectives As described above, a pipe break may lead to significant fuel damage and fission product release in the VHTR. The objectives of this Korean/United States collaboration were to develop and validate advanced computational methods for VHTR safety analysis. The methods that have been developed are now available to provide improved understanding of the VHTR during accidents.« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
911270
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-06-01362
TRN: US0704502
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 - SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; COAL GASIFICATION; COMPUTER CODES; ENERGY CONVERSION; FISSION PRODUCT RELEASE; FISSION PRODUCTS; GAS COOLED REACTORS; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; LOSS OF COOLANT; NATURAL CONVECTION; POWER GENERATION; PROCESS HEAT; REACTOR CORES; SAFETY; SAFETY ANALYSIS; VALIDATION; codes; gas-cooled reactor; safety; Very high temperature