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Research Papers

An Experimental and Numerical Study to Support Development of Molten Salt Breeder Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
A. K. Srivastava

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: aks0071986@gmail.com

R. Chouhan

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: rakeshc@barc.gov.in

A. Borgohain

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: bananta@barc.gov.in

S. S. Jana

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: sjana@barc.gov.in

N. K. Maheshwari

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: nmahesh@barc.gov.in

D. S. Pilkhwal

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: pilkhwal@barc.gov.in

A. Rama Rao

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: arr@barc.gov.in

K. N. Hareendhran

Uranium Extraction Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: knhari@barc.gov.in

S. Chowdhury

Uranium Extraction Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: schowd@barc.gov.in

K. B. Modi

Product Development Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: kbmodi@barc.gov.in

S. K. Raut

Product Development Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: sheetup@barc.gov.in

S. C. Parida

Product Development Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Mumbai 400085, India
e-mail: sureshp@barc.gov.in

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 8, 2016; final manuscript received February 14, 2017; published online May 25, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Emmanuel Porcheron.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 3(3), 031007 (May 25, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: NERS-16-1154; doi: 10.1115/1.4036027 History: Received November 08, 2016; Revised February 14, 2017

Conceptual molten salt breeder reactor (MSBR) is under development in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) with long-term objective of utilizing abundant thorium available in India. It is based on molten salts, which acts as fuel, blanket, and coolant for the reactor. LiF–ThF4 (77.6–22.4 mol %) is proposed as a blanket salt for Indian MSBR. A laboratory scale molten salt natural circulation loop (MSNCL) named molten active fluoride salt loop (MAFL) has been setup for thermal-hydraulic, material compatibility, and chemistry control studies. Steady-states and transient experiments have been performed in the operating temperature range of 600–750 °C. The loop operates in the power range of 250–550 W. Steady-state correlation given for natural circulation flow in a loop is compared with the steady-state experimental data. The Reynolds number was found to be in the range of 57–114. Computation fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation has also been performed for MAFL using openfoam code, and the results are compared with the experimental data generated in the loop. It has been found that predictions of openfoam are in good agreement with the experimental data. In this paper, features of the loop, its construction, and the experimental and numerical studies performed are discussed in detail.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Schematic of MAFL and (b) photograph of MAFL placed inside fume-hood

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Fig. 2

Process flow diagram of MAFL

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Fig. 3

Chunks of LiF–ThF4 salt mixture before loading in the loop

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Fig. 4

Computational domain of the loop in openfoam

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Fig. 5

(a) Hexahedral and tetrahedral mesh for the loop in openfoam, (b) surface meshing at “T” joint, and (c) internal section meshing T joint

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Fig. 6

Temperature profiles obtained at center line of heater leg for the three different grids at same heater power

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Fig. 7

Comparison of steady-state experimental data with steady-state correlation and openfoam

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Fig. 8

Variations of temperature at different locations as a function of time (CFD prediction and experimental data) for heater (H2) power 290 W

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Fig. 9

Variations of temperature at different locations as a function of time (CFD prediction and experimental data) for heater (H1 and H2) power 450 W

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