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 , 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.
Study on the Coupled Neutronic and Thermal-Hydraulic Characteristics of the New Concept Molten Salt Reactor
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Wang, P., Qian, L., Zhang, D., Tian, W., Su, G., and Qiu, S. (July 14, 2010). "Study on the Coupled Neutronic and Thermal-Hydraulic Characteristics of the New Concept Molten Salt Reactor." ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power. October 2010; 132(10): 102923. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4001067
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