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Reactor Controllability of 3-Region-Core Molten Salt Reactor System: A Study on Load Following Capability

[+] Author Affiliations
Takahisa Yamamoto, Koshi Mitachi, Masatoshi Nishio

Toyohashi University of Technology, Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan

Paper No. ICONE14-89440, pp. 593-602; 10 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 3: Structural Integrity; Nuclear Engineering Advances; Next Generation Systems; Near Term Deployment and Promotion of Nuclear Energy
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4244-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) systems are liquid-fueled reactors that can be used for actinide burning, production of electricity, production of hydrogen, and production of ssile fuels (breeding). Thorium (Th) and uranium-233 (233 U) are fertile and ssile of the MSR systems, and dissolved in a high-temperature molten fluoride salt (fuel salt) with a very high boiling temperature (up to 1650K), that is both the reactor nuclear fuel and the coolant. The MSR system is one of the six advanced reactor concepts identified by the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) as a candidate for cooperative development [1]. In the MSR system, fuel salt flows through a fuel duct constructed around a reactor core and fuel channel of a graphite moderator accompanied by fission reaction and heat generation, and flows out to an external-loop system consisted of a heat exchanger and a circulation pump. Due to the motion of fuel salt, delayed neutron precursors that are one of the source of neutron production make to change their position between the ssion reaction and neutron emission events and decay even occur in the external loop system. Hence the reactivity and effective delayed neutron precursor fraction of the MSR system are lower than those of solid fuel reactor systems such as Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) and Pressurised Water Reactor (PWRs). Since all of the presently operating nuclear power reactors utilize solid fuel, little attention had been paid to the MSR analysis of the reactivity loss and reactor characteristics change caused by the fuel salt circulation. Sides et al. [2] and Shimazu et al. [3] developed MSR analytical models based on the point reactor kinetics model to consider the effect of fuel salt flow. Their models represented a reactor as having six zones for fuel salt and three zones for the graphite moderator. Since their models employed the point reactor kinetics model and the rough temperature approximation, their results were not sufficiently accurate to consider the effect of fuel salt flow.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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