Heat Exchanger Design Options and Tritium Transport Study for the VHTR System

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This report presents the results of a study conducted to consider heat exchanger options and tritium transport in a very high temperature reactor (VHTR) system for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project. The heat exchanger options include types, arrangements, channel patterns in printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHE), coolant flow direction, and pipe configuration in shell-and-tube designs. Study considerations include: three types of heat exchanger designs (PCHE, shell-and-tube, and helical coil); single- and two-stage unit arrangements; counter-current and cross flow configurations; and straight pipes and U-tube designs in shell-and-tube type heat exchangers. Thermal designs and simple stress analyses were performed to ... continued below

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Oh, Chang H. & Kim, Eung S. September 1, 2008.

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This report presents the results of a study conducted to consider heat exchanger options and tritium transport in a very high temperature reactor (VHTR) system for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project. The heat exchanger options include types, arrangements, channel patterns in printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHE), coolant flow direction, and pipe configuration in shell-and-tube designs. Study considerations include: three types of heat exchanger designs (PCHE, shell-and-tube, and helical coil); single- and two-stage unit arrangements; counter-current and cross flow configurations; and straight pipes and U-tube designs in shell-and-tube type heat exchangers. Thermal designs and simple stress analyses were performed to estimate the heat exchanger options, and the Finite Element Method was applied for more detailed calculations, especially for PCHE designs. Results of the options study show that the PCHE design has the smallest volume and heat transfer area, resulting in the least tritium permeation and greatest cost savings. It is theoretically the most reliable mechanically, leading to a longer lifetime. The two-stage heat exchanger arrangement appears to be safer and more cost effective. The recommended separation temperature between first and second stages in a serial configuration is 800oC, at which the high temperature unit is about one-half the size of the total heat exchanger core volume. Based on simplified stress analyses, the high temperature unit will need to be replaced two or three times during the plant’s lifetime. Stress analysis results recommend the off-set channel pattern configuration for the PCHE because stress reduction was estimated at up to 50% in this configuration, resulting in a longer lifetime. The tritium transport study resulted in the development of a tritium behavior analysis code using the MATLAB Simulink code. In parallel, the THYTAN code, previously performed by Ohashi and Sherman (2007) on the Peach Bottom data, was revived and verified. The 600 MWt VHTR core input file developed in preparation for the transient tritium analysis of VHTR systems was replaced with the original steady-state inputs for future calculations. A Finite Element Method analysis was performed using COMSOL Multiphysics software to accurately predict tritium permeation through the PCHE type heat exchanger walls. This effort was able to estimate the effective thickness for tritium permeations and develop a correlation for general channel configurations, which found the effective thickness to be much shorter than the average channel distance because of dead spots on the channel side.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-08-14799
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/940414 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 940414
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc894387

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  • September 1, 2008

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

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Oh, Chang H. & Kim, Eung S. Heat Exchanger Design Options and Tritium Transport Study for the VHTR System, report, September 1, 2008; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc894387/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.