Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Innovative Investigation of Reflector Options for the Control of a Chloride-Salt Based Molten Salt Zero Power Reactor

Version 1 : Received: 22 June 2021 / Approved: 23 June 2021 / Online: 23 June 2021 (10:09:32 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Merk, B.; Detkina, A.; Atkinson, S.; Litskevich, D.; Cartland-Glover, G. Innovative Investigation of Reflector Options for the Control of a Chloride-Based Molten Salt Zero-Power Reactor. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 6795. Merk, B.; Detkina, A.; Atkinson, S.; Litskevich, D.; Cartland-Glover, G. Innovative Investigation of Reflector Options for the Control of a Chloride-Based Molten Salt Zero-Power Reactor. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 6795.

Journal reference: Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 6795
DOI: 10.3390/app11156795

Abstract

Molten salt reactors have gained substantial interest in the last years due to their flexibility and their potential for simplified closed fuel cycle operation for massive net-zero energy production. However, a zero-power reactor experiment will be an essential first step into the process delivering this technology. The choice of the optimal reflector material is one of the key issues for such experiments since on the one hand it offers huge cost saving potential due to reduced fuel demand, on the other hand an improper choice of the reflector material can have negative effects on the quality of the experiments. The choice of the reflector material is for the first time introduced through a literature review and a discussion of potential roles of the reflector. The 2D study of different potential reflector materials has delivered a first down selection with SS 304 as representative for stainless steel, lead, copper, graphite, and beryllium oxide. A deeper look identified in addition iron-based material with high Si content. The following evaluation of the power distribution has shown the strong influence of the moderating reflectors creating a massively disturbed power distribution with a peak at the core boundary. This effect has been confirmed through a deeper analysis of the 2D multi-group flux distribution which lead to the exclusion of the BeO and the graphite reflector. The most promising materials identified have been SS 304, lead, and copper. The final 3D Monte-Carlo study demonstrated that all three materials have the potential to reduce the required amount of fuel by up to 60% compared NaCl which has been used in previous studies and is now taken as reference A first cost analysis has identified the SS 304 reflector as the most attractive solution. The results of the 2D multi group deterministic study and the 3D multi group Monte-Carlo study have been confirmed through a continuous energy Monte-Carlo reference calculation showing only minor differences.

Subject Areas

Nuclear; Nuclear Reactors; Reactor Physics; Nuclear Experiments; Zero-Power Reactors; Modelling & Simulation; Molten Salt Reactors

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