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Dynamic Modeling and Performance Analysis of a Two-Fluid Molten-Salt Breeder Reactor System

Vikram Singh, Matthew R. Lish, Alexander M. Wheeler, Ondřej Chvála, Belle R. Upadhyaya

Nuclear Technology / Volume 202 / Number 1 / April 2018 / Pages 15-38

Technical Paper / dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1416879

Received:June 30, 2017
Accepted:December 11, 2017
Published:March 16, 2018

A nonlinear dynamic model for the two-fluid molten-salt breeder reactor (MSBR) system is presented. This work is partly inspired by a preliminary dynamic model of the concept studied at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The core heat transfer model has been revised to accurately reflect the design exemplified in ORNL-4528—the last report on the two-fluid design. A brief description of the reactor system and the effects of reactor poisons and a discussion of temperature feedback mechanisms are presented. This background information is followed by an overview of the modeling approach and a discussion of the revised lumped parametrization, along with detailed descriptions of the modeling methodology and model limitations. All equations and parameters used in the model are presented to aid in model reproduction and adaptation for other molten-salt reactor designs. Model stability is analyzed by observing the uncontrolled response to reactivity perturbations. Simulations illustrate stable behavior at all power levels investigated. Temperature-induced feedback effects lead to stable dynamics for both large and small reactivity transients. Stable and smooth changes in the various nodal temperatures are also observed. The frequency response of the system indicates no dynamics problems at all operating power levels and is consistent with the transient response. Characteristic features in the frequency response plots due to feedback effects are also discussed. Finally, the load-following capability of the MSBR system is studied for various ramp rates of the power demand in the final heat sink. The temperatures in all salt-containing parts of the system are observed to vary about an average during the load-following maneuver. It is observed that the MSBR system exhibits a self-regulating behavior, minimizing the need for external controller action for load-following operations.

 
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