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

Merk, Bruno, Detkina, Anna, Atkinson, Seddon, Litskevich, Dzianis ORCID: 0000-0002-3207-3058 and Cartland-Glover, Gregory
(2021) Innovative Investigation of Reflector Options for the Control of a Chloride-Based Molten Salt Zero-Power Reactor. Applied Sciences, 11 (15). p. 6795.

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<jats:p>Molten salt reactors have gained substantial interest in the last years due to their flexibility and their potential for simplified closed fuel cycle operations 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 savings 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 SS304 as the representative for stainless steel, lead, copper, graphite, and beryllium oxide. A deeper look identified, in addition, iron-based material with a 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 led to the exclusion of the BeO and the graphite reflector. The most promising materials identified were SS304, 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 with NaCl, which has been used in previous studies and is now taken as the reference. An initial cost analysis has identified the SS304 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.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nuclear, nuclear reactors, reactor physics, nuclear experiments, zero-power reactors, modelling and simulation, molten salt reactors
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2021 08:19
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 05:53
DOI: 10.3390/app11156795
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