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Research Papers: Nuclear Power

Study on the Coupled Neutronic and Thermal-Hydraulic Characteristics of the New Concept Molten Salt Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
Peng Wang, Libo Qian, Dalin Zhang, Wenxi Tian, Guanghui Su

State Key Laboratory of Multi Phase Flow in Power Engineering, and School of Nuclear Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China

Suizheng Qiu1

State Key Laboratory of Multi Phase Flow in Power Engineering, and School of Nuclear Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, Chinaszqiu@mail.xjtu.edu.cn

1

Corresponding author.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 132(10), 102923 (Jul 14, 2010) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001067 History: Received September 23, 2009; Revised September 27, 2009; Published July 14, 2010; Online July 14, 2010

The new concept molten salt reactor is the only liquid-fuel reactor of the six Generation IV advanced nuclear energy systems. The liquid molten salt serves as the fuel and coolant simultaneously and causes one important feature: the delayed neutron precursors are drifted by the fuel flow, which leads the spread of delayed neutrons’ distribution to noncore parts of the primary circuit, and it also results in reactivity variation depending on the flow condition of the fuel salt. Therefore, the neutronic and thermal-hydraulic characteristics of the molten salt reactor are quite different from the conventional nuclear reactors using solid fissile materials. Besides, there is no other reactor design theory and safety analysis methodologies can be used for reference. The neutronic model is derived based on the conservation of particles considering the flow effect of the fuel salt in the molten salt reactor, while the thermal-hydraulic model applies the fundamental conservation laws: the mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations. Then, the neutronic and thermal-hydraulic calculations are coupled and the influences of inflow temperature and flow velocity on the reactor physical properties are obtained. The calculated results show that the flow effect on the distributions of thermal and fast neutron fluxes is very weak, as well as on the effective multiplication factor keff, while the flow effect on the distribution of delayed neutron precursors is much stronger. The inflow temperature influences the distribution of neutron fluxes and delayed neutron precursors slightly, and makes a significant negative reactivity. Coupled calculation also reveals that the flow velocity of molten salt has little effect on the distribution of neutron fluxes in the steady-state, but affects the delayed neutron precursors’ distribution significantly.

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Figures

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Figure 2

The control volume P in a 1D coordinate system

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Figure 3

Flow effect on the distributions of neutron fluxes

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Figure 4

Flow effect on the distribution of precursors

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Figure 5

Temperature distributions at different inflow temperatures

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Figure 6

Distributions of neutron fluxes at different inflow temperatures

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Figure 7

Distributions of precursors at different inflow temperatures

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Figure 8

Temperature distributions under different flow velocities

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Figure 9

Distributions of neutron fluxes under different flow velocities

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Figure 10

Distributions of precursors under different flow velocities

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