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Journal Articles Annals of Nuclear Energy Year : 2022

Unmoderated molten salt reactors design optimisation for power stability

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Abstract

The critical region of unmoderated molten salt reactors consists in a cavity filled with a liquid fuel. The lack of internal structure implies a complex flow structure of the circulating fuel salt. A preliminary core shape optimization has been performed during the EVOL European project to limit recirculation and hotspots. This optimization was based on a Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) approach, but the latter only provides time-averaged values for velocity and temperature. However, the power stability is sensitive to thermal fluctuations induced by the flow turbulence itself, even at steady state without pump flow rate or heat extraction variation. This phenomenon is studied using a Detached Eddies Simulation approach to solve the turbulence in the reactor and get a time dependent temperature distribution and then the reactivity fluctuations. A new geometry is proposed to limit the total power fluctuations from 7.5% for the preconceptual EVOL geometry down to 1.2%.
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Dates and versions

hal-03710212 , version 1 (24-11-2022)

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A. Laureau, A. Bellè, M. Allibert, D. Heuer, E. Merle, et al.. Unmoderated molten salt reactors design optimisation for power stability. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 2022, 177, pp.109265. ⟨10.1016/j.anucene.2022.109265⟩. ⟨hal-03710212⟩
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