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The Sodium Reactor Experiment
In February 1957, construction was completed on the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE), a sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor with an output of 20 MWt. The design of theSRE had begun three years earlier in 1954, and construction started in April 1955. On April 25, 1957, the reactor reached criticality, and the SRE operated until February 1964.
Donna Post Guillen, Clayton G. Turner
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 8 | August 2022 | Pages 1301-1310
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2021.1977085
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
New nuclear reactor designs that incorporate heat pipes are being investigated for possible near-term deployment in terrestrial applications. This study explores the use of screen-covered axially grooved sodium heat pipes and their applicability for providing heat removal for microreactors. A sodium working fluid is appropriate for microreactors operating in the 5 to 20 MW(thermal) range at approximately 650°C. HTPIPE, a legacy software code, was validated for the case of screen-covered grooves and used to perform steady-state analyses to determine the performance limits of a proposed heat pipe design. The performance limits of a sodium heat pipe with a screen-covered square grooved wick structure is compared to that of an equivalent heat pipe with an annular wick. In a horizontal orientation at an operating temperature of 650°C,the performance limits for the heat pipe with an annular wick configuration are 15% higher than for the screen-covered grooved wick. At operating temperatures below 777°C, the annular wick outperforms the screen-covered grooved wick, and at temperatures above 777°C, the screen-covered grooved wick outperforms the annular wick. However, the marginal performance gain at higher temperatures may not justify the use of heat pipes with a screen-covered grooved wick structure due to increased manufacturing costs.