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2022 ANS Annual Meeting
June 12–16, 2022
Anaheim, CA|Anaheim Hilton
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
What are the key cost drivers for microreactors?
Microreactors upend the traditional economics of nuclear power plants by shifting the paradigm from economies of scale (large reactors) to economies of multiple (mass production). While shrinking power output per unit may increase costs per kilowatt compared to large plants, offsetting gains can be expected from simplified and standardized designs, factory fabrication, inherent safety, lower radionuclide inventories, fast installation, and low financing costs. For instance, the lower power density in a microreactor core leads to a greatly reduced decay heat source, simplifying emergency cooling needs. These design aspects can lead to innovations including substantial simplifications to safety and control needs, minimized human operational requirements, a very compact balance of plant, the ability to fabricate almost every component in a factory, shortened construction time, and less daunting financing.
J. L. King, H. Jo, R. Tirawat, K. Blomstrand, K. Sridharan
Nuclear Technology | Volume 200 | Number 1 | October 2017 | Pages 1-14
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1353869
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Thermal radiation will be an important mode of heat transfer in future high-temperature reactors and in off-normal high-temperature scenarios in present reactors. In this work, spectral directional emissivities of two reactor pressure vessel (RPV) candidate materials were measured at room temperature after exposure to high-temperature air. In the case of SA508 steel, significant increases in emissivity were observed due to oxidation. In the case of Grade 91 steel, only very small increases were observed under the tested conditions. Effects of roughness were also investigated. To study the effects of roughening, unexposed samples of SA508 and Grade 91 steel were roughened via one of either grinding or shot-peening before being measured. Significant increases were observed only in samples having roughness exceeding the roughness expected of RPV surfaces. While the emissivity increases for SA508 from oxidation were indeed significant, the measured emissivity coefficients were below that of values commonly used in heat transfer models. Based on the observed experimental data, recommendations for emissivity inputs for heat transfer simulations are provided.