Boosted Fast Flux Loop Alternative Cooling Assessment

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The Gas Test Loop (GTL) Project was instituted to develop the means for conducting fast neutron irradiation tests in a domestic radiation facility. It made use of booster fuel to achieve the high neutron flux, a hafnium thermal neutron absorber to attain the high fast-to-thermal flux ratio, a mixed gas temperature control system for maintaining experiment temperatures, and a compressed gas cooling system to remove heat from the experiment capsules and the hafnium thermal neutron absorber. This GTL system was determined to provide a fast (E > 0.1 MeV) flux greater than 1.0E+15 n/cm2-s with a fast-to-thermal flux ratio in ... continued below

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Longhurst, Glen R.; Guillen, Donna Post; Parry, James R.; Porter, Douglas L. & Wallace, Bruce W. August 1, 2007.

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The Gas Test Loop (GTL) Project was instituted to develop the means for conducting fast neutron irradiation tests in a domestic radiation facility. It made use of booster fuel to achieve the high neutron flux, a hafnium thermal neutron absorber to attain the high fast-to-thermal flux ratio, a mixed gas temperature control system for maintaining experiment temperatures, and a compressed gas cooling system to remove heat from the experiment capsules and the hafnium thermal neutron absorber. This GTL system was determined to provide a fast (E > 0.1 MeV) flux greater than 1.0E+15 n/cm2-s with a fast-to-thermal flux ratio in the vicinity of 40. However, the estimated system acquisition cost from earlier studies was deemed to be high. That cost was strongly influenced by the compressed gas cooling system for experiment heat removal. Designers were challenged to find a less expensive way to achieve the required cooling. This report documents the results of the investigation leading to an alternatively cooled configuration, referred to now as the Boosted Fast Flux Loop (BFFL). This configuration relies on a composite material comprised of hafnium aluminide (Al3Hf) in an aluminum matrix to transfer heat from the experiment to pressurized water cooling channels while at the same time providing absorption of thermal neutrons. Investigations into the performance this configuration might achieve showed that it should perform at least as well as its gas-cooled predecessor. Physics calculations indicated that the fast neutron flux averaged over the central 40 cm (16 inches) relative to ATR core mid-plane in irradiation spaces would be about 1.04E+15 n/cm2-s. The fast-to-thermal flux ratio would be in excess of 40. Further, the particular configuration of cooling channels was relatively unimportant compared with the total amount of water in the apparatus in determining performance. Thermal analyses conducted on a candidate configuration showed the design of the water coolant and Al-Hf alloy heat sink system is capable of maintaining all system components below their maximum temperature limits. The maximum temperature of this conduction cooling system, 224.2°C (435.6 °F) occurs in a small, localized region in the heat sink structure near the core mid-plane. The total coolant flow rate requirement for this configuration is 207 L/min (54.7 gpm). The calculated Flow Instability Ratio and Departure from Nucleate Boiling Ratio for this configuration under nominal conditions are 6.5 and 8.0, respectively, which safely exceed the minimum values of 2.0. Materials and fabrication issues inspection revealed that the neutron absorber would probably best be made from powdered Al3Hf mixed with aluminum powder and extruded or hot isostatically pressed. Although Al3Hf has not been specifically studied extensively, its mechanical and chemical properties should be very much like Al3Zr, which has been studied. Its behavior under irradiation should be very satisfactory, and resistance to corrosion will be investigated to a limited extent in planned miniplate irradiation tests in ATR. Pressurized water systems needed to effect heat removal are already available in the ATR complex, and mixed gas temperature control systems needed to trim experiment temperatures have been engineered and need only be fabricated and installed. In sum, it appears the alternately cooled configuration arrived at can be very successful. The cost estimate for this configuration indicates to

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-07-12994
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/918186 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 918186
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883506

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • August 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 5:21 p.m.

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Longhurst, Glen R.; Guillen, Donna Post; Parry, James R.; Porter, Douglas L. & Wallace, Bruce W. Boosted Fast Flux Loop Alternative Cooling Assessment, report, August 1, 2007; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883506/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.