Argonne Liquid-Metal Advanced Burner Reactor : components and in-vessel system thermal-hydraulic research and testing experience - pathway forward.

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This white paper provides an overview and status report of the thermal-hydraulic nuclear research and development, both experimental and computational, conducted predominantly at Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne from the early 1970s through the early 1990s was the Department of Energy's (DOE's) lead lab for thermal-hydraulic development of Liquid Metal Reactors (LMRs). During the 1970s and into the mid-1980s, Argonne conducted thermal-hydraulic studies and experiments on individual reactor components supporting the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II), Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), and the Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR). From the mid-1980s and into the early 1990s, Argonne conducted studies on phenomena related ... continued below

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Kasza, K.; Grandy, C.; Chang, Y. & Khalil, H. June 30, 2007.

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Description

This white paper provides an overview and status report of the thermal-hydraulic nuclear research and development, both experimental and computational, conducted predominantly at Argonne National Laboratory. Argonne from the early 1970s through the early 1990s was the Department of Energy's (DOE's) lead lab for thermal-hydraulic development of Liquid Metal Reactors (LMRs). During the 1970s and into the mid-1980s, Argonne conducted thermal-hydraulic studies and experiments on individual reactor components supporting the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II), Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), and the Clinch River Breeder Reactor (CRBR). From the mid-1980s and into the early 1990s, Argonne conducted studies on phenomena related to forced- and natural-convection thermal buoyancy in complete in-vessel models of the General Electric (GE) Prototype Reactor Inherently Safe Module (PRISM) and Rockwell International (RI) Sodium Advanced Fast Reactor (SAFR). These two reactor initiatives involved Argonne working closely with U.S. industry and DOE. This paper describes the very important impact of thermal hydraulics dominated by thermal buoyancy forces on reactor global operation and on the behavior/performance of individual components during postulated off-normal accident events with low flow. Utilizing Argonne's LMR expertise and design knowledge is vital to the further development of safe, reliable, and high-performance LMRs. Argonne believes there remains an important need for continued research and development on thermal-hydraulic design in support of DOE's and the international community's renewed thrust for developing and demonstrating the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) reactor(s) and the associated Argonne Liquid Metal-Advanced Burner Reactor (LM-ABR). This white paper highlights that further understanding is needed regarding reactor design under coolant low-flow events. These safety-related events are associated with the transition from normal high-flow operation to natural circulation. Low-flow coolant events are the most difficult to design for because they involve the most complex thermal-hydraulic behavior induced by the dominance of thermal-buoyancy forces acting on the coolants. Such behavior can cause multiple-component flow interaction phenomena, which are not adequately understood or appreciated by reactor designers as to their impact on reactor performance and safety. Since the early 1990s, when DOE canceled the U.S. Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor (LMFBR) program, little has been done experimentally to further understand the importance of the complex thermal-buoyancy phenomena and their impact on reactor design or to improve the ability of three-dimensional (3-D) transient computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structures codes to model the phenomena. An improved experimental data base and the associated improved validated codes would provide needed design tools to the reactor community. The improved codes would also facilitate scale-up from small-scale testing to prototype size and would facilitate comparing performance of one reactor/component design with another. The codes would also have relevance to the design and safety of water-cooled reactors. To accomplish the preceding, it is proposed to establish a national GNEP-LMR research and development center at Argonne having as its foundation state-of-art science-based infrastructure consisting of: (a) thermal-hydraulic experimental capabilities for conducting both water and sodium testing of individual reactor components and complete reactor in-vessel models and (b) a computational modeling development and validation capability that is strongly interfaced with the experimental facilities. The proposed center would greatly advance capabilities for reactor development by establishing the validity of high-fidelity (i.e., close to first principles) models and tools. Such tools could be used directly for reactor design or for qualifying/tuning of lower-fidelity models, which now require costly experimental qualification for each different type of design application. Capabilities required to establish and operate this center are found primarily in Argonne's Nuclear Engineering and Mathematics and Computer Science Divisions. Funding for the center would be sought from DOE-NE (GNEP/Advanced Burner Reactor and Generation IV programs), DOE-SC/ASCR, and the commercial nuclear industry. Having the above experimental and modeling capabilities at Argonne would constitute a national/international center of excellence for conducting the research and engineering and design tool development needed to support the DOE GNEP/ LM-ABR initiative in developing safe, high-performance reactors.

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  • Report No.: ANL/NE-07/21
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-06CH11357
  • DOI: 10.2172/925353 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 925353
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897999

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  • June 30, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Sept. 26, 2017, 3:15 p.m.

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Kasza, K.; Grandy, C.; Chang, Y. & Khalil, H. Argonne Liquid-Metal Advanced Burner Reactor : components and in-vessel system thermal-hydraulic research and testing experience - pathway forward., report, June 30, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897999/: accessed December 10, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.