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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.
Alberto Talamo, S. N. P. Vegendla, A. Bergeron, F. Heidet, B. Ade, B. R. Betzler
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 9 | September 2022 | Pages 1433-1452
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2022.2033596
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This work presents multiphysics analyses on the bottom components of the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR) facility. These components include the bottom axial reflector and the steel exit cone. The bottom axial reflector is made of pure silicon carbide elements hosting helium cooling channels. These elements are three-dimensional (3D) printed, and therefore can host any arbitrary shape of the helium cooling channels. The design of the bottom reflector considers the neutronics and thermofluid dynamics performances as well as the manufacturing process optimization. More precisely, the best design of the bottom reflector reduces neutron leakage by avoiding straight cylindrical helium channels that facilitate neutron leakage, minimizes the helium flow pressure drop, and reduces the number of 3D printed silicon carbide pieces. The exit cone steel structure collects the hot helium from the bottom fuel assemblies and channels the cold helium to the top of the fuel assemblies. The steel’s simultaneous contact with hot and cold helium flows sets a large thermal gradient. Different designs of the exit cone are proposed to reduce the steel equivalent stress from the helium thermal load. The multiphysics analyses have been performed using Ansys Fluent, Ansys Mechanical, STAR-CCM+, and Serpent computer programs.