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Active Chemistry Control for Coolant Helium Applying High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors

[+] Author Affiliations
Nariaki Sakaba, Shimpei Hamamoto

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Oarai, Japan

Yoichi Takeda

Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

Paper No. HTR2008-58096, pp. 625-631; 7 pages
  • Fourth International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology
  • Fourth International Topical Meeting on High Temperature Reactor Technology, Volume 1
  • Washington, DC, USA, September 28–October 1, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4854-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3834-1
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


Lifetime extension of high-temperature equipment such as the intermediate heat exchanger of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) is important from the economical point of view. Since the replacing cost will cause the increasing of the running cost, it is important to reduce replacing times of the high-cost primary equipment during assumed reactor lifetime. In the past, helium chemistry has been controlled by the passive chemistry control technology in which chemical impurity in the coolant helium is removed as low concentration as possible, as does Japan’s HTTR. Although the lifetime of high-temperature equipment almost depends upon the chemistry conditions in the coolant helium, it is necessary to establish an active chemistry control technology to maintain adequate chemical conditions. In this study, carbon deposition which could occur at the surface of the heat transfer tubes of the intermediate heat exchanger and decarburization of the high-temperature material of Hastelloy XR used at the heat transfer tubes were evaluated by referring the actual chemistry data obtained by the HTTR. The chemical equilibrium study contributed to clarify the algorism of the chemistry behaviours to be controlled. The created algorism is planned to be added to the instrumentation system of the helium purification systems. In addition, the chemical composition to be maintained during the reactor operation was proposed by evaluating not only core graphite oxidation but also carbon deposition and decarburization. It was identified when the chemical composition could not keep adequately, injection of 10 ppm carbon monoxide could effectively control the chemical composition to the designated stable area where the high-temperature materials could keep their structural integrity beyond the assumed duration. The proposed active chemistry control technology is expected to contribute economically to the purification systems of the future very high-temperature reactors.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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