scispace - formally typeset

ReportDOI

Design of megawatt power level heat pipe reactors

12 Nov 2015-

Abstract: An important niche for nuclear energy is the need for power at remote locations removed from a reliable electrical grid. Nuclear energy has potential applications at strategic defense locations, theaters of battle, remote communities, and emergency locations. With proper safeguards, a 1 to 10-MWe (megawatt electric) mobile reactor system could provide robust, self-contained, and long-term power in any environment. Heat pipe-cooled fast-spectrum nuclear reactors have been identified as a candidate for these applications. Heat pipe reactors, using alkali metal heat pipes, are perfectly suited for mobile applications because their nature is inherently simpler, smaller, and more reliable than “traditional” reactors. The goal of this project was to develop a scalable conceptual design for a compact reactor and to identify scaling issues for compact heat pipe cooled reactors in general. Toward this goal two detailed concepts were developed, the first concept with more conventional materials and a power of about 2 MWe and a the second concept with less conventional materials and a power level of about 5 MWe. A series of more qualitative advanced designs were developed (with less detail) that show power levels can be pushed to approximately 30 MWe.
Topics: Heat pipe (52%), Electrical grid (51%), Conceptual design (50%)

Content maybe subject to copyright    Report

LA-UR-15-28840
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Title: DESIGN OF MEGAWATT POWER LEVEL HEAT PIPE REACTORS
Author(s): Mcclure, Patrick Ray
Poston, David Irvin
Dasari, Venkateswara Rao
Reid, Robert Stowers
Intended for: Report
Issued: 2015-11-12

Disclaimer:
Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer,is operated by the Los Alamos National Security, LLC for
the National NuclearSecurity Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396. By approving this
article, the publisher recognizes that the U.S. Government retains nonexclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published
form of this contribution, or to allow others to do so, for U.S. Government purposes. Los Alamos National Laboratory requests that the
publisher identify this article as work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Departmentof Energy. Los Alamos National Laboratory
strongly supports academic freedom and a researcher's right to publish; as an institution, however, the Laboratory does not endorse the
viewpoint of a publication or guarantee its technical correctness.

!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
!
DESIGN OF MEGAWATT POWER LEVEL HEAT PIPE REACTORS
Patrick McClure, David Poston, D.V. Rao and Robert Reid
Los Alamos National Laboratory
November 2015

ABSTRACT'................................................................................................................................................'3!
INTRO D U C TIO N '......................................................................................................................................'3!
POTENTIAL'ADVANTAGES'..................................................................................................................'7!
SIZE!..............................................................................................................................................................................!8!
ORIENTATION!............................................................................................................................................................!9!
SAFETY!........................................................................................................................................................................!9!
SELF!REGULATION!(LOAD!FOLLOWING)!...........................................................................................................!10!
SOLID!STATE!............................................................................................................................................................!10!
HEAT!TRANSFER!SURFACE!AREA!MOVED!OUTSIDE!CORE!.............................................................................!10!
MORE!CHOICE!OF!FLUIDS!AND!CONFIGURATIONS!...........................................................................................!11!
HIGH!TEMPERATURES!...........................................................................................................................................!11!
SUMMARY!OF!ADVANTAGES!................................................................................................................................. !11!
ISSUES'O N 'SC A L IN G'............................................................................................................................'12!
LIMITAT ION S !ON!SCALING!....................................................................................................................................!12!
LIMITS!ON !NUMBER!OF!HEAT!PIPES!..................................................................................................................!12!
LIMITS!BASED!ON!ACCIDENT!CONDITIONS!.......................................................................................................!12!
LIMITS!ON !HEAT-PIPE !PERFORMANCE!..............................................................................................................!13!
LIMITS!ON !THERMAL!AND!MECHANICAL!PERFORMANCE!..............................................................................!14!
OTHER!MATERIAL!LIMITATIONS!.........................................................................................................................!15!
OVERCOMING'LIMITS'ON'SCALING'...............................................................................................'16!
CORE!SEGMENTATION!...........................................................................................................................................!16!
HEAT!PIPE !PERFORMANCE!!THE!USE!OF!A!DOUBLE-ENDED!HEAT!PIPE!.................................................!17!
OVERCOMING!THERMAL/MECHANICAL/NEUTRONIC!ISSUES!FOR!NORMAL!AND!ACCIDENT!CONDITIONS
!...................................................................................................................................................................................!18!
DETAILED'ANALYSIS'OF'BLOCK'DESIGNS'(SS_UO2'AND'MOLY_UN)'..................................'19!
QUALITATIVE'TRADE'OFFS'OF'ALTERNATIVE'DESIGNS'.......................................................'28!
RESULTS!OF!ALTERNATIVES!STUDY!...................................................................................................................!35!
FUEL!MATERIAL!.....................................................................................................................................................!35!
BLOCK!MATERIAL!..................................................................................................................................................!35!
RANKING!OF!ALTERNATIVES!................................................................................................................................!36!
OVERALL'LESSONS'LEARNED'AND'RECOMMENDATION'GOING'FORWARD'...................'36!
POSSIBLE!REACTOR!CONCEPT!FOR!REMOTE!LOCATIONS!...............................................................................!36!
APPENDIX'A'..........................................................................................................................................'39!
METHODOLOGY!FOR!ANALYSIS!............................................................................................................................!39!
!

DESIGN OF MEGAWATT POWER LEVEL HEAT PIPE REACTORS
Patrick McClure, David Poston, D.V. Rao and Robert Reid
Los Alamos National Laboratory
!
Abstract(
An#important#niche#for#nuclear#energy#is#the#need#for#power#at#remote#locations#
removed#from#a#reliable#electrical#grid.##Nuclear#energy#has#potential#applications#at#
strategic#defense#locations,#theaters#of#battle,#remote#communities,#and#emergency#
locations.##With#proper#safeguards,#a#1#to#10-MWe#(megawatt#electric)#mobile#reactor#
system#could#provide#robust,#self-contained,#and#long-term#power#in#any#environment.##
Heat#pipe-cooled#fast-spectrum#nuclear#reactors#have#been#identified#as#a#candidate#
for#these#applications.#Heat#pipe#reactors,#using#alkali#metal#heat#pipes,#are#perfectly#
suited#for#mobile#applications#because#their#nature#is#inherently#simpler,#smaller,#and#
more#reliable#than#“traditional”#reactors.##
The#goal#of#this#project#was#to#develop#a#scalable#conceptual#design#for#a#compact#
reactor#and#to#identify#scaling#issues#for#compact#heat#pipe#cooled#reactors#in#general.####
Toward#this#goal#two#detailed#concepts#were#developed,#the#first#concept#with#more#
conventional#materials#and#a#power#of#about#2#MWe#and#a#the#second#concept#with#
less#conventional#materials#and#a#power#level#of#about#5#MWe.##A#series#of#more#
qualitative#advanced#designs#were#developed#(with#less#detail)#that#show#power#levels#
can#be#pushed#to#approximately#30#MWe.#
Introduc tio n(
Reactors!come!in!a!range!of!sizes.!!The!size!fits!a!variety!of!applications!as!shown!in!
Figure!1.!!Los!Alamos!National!Laboratory!(LANL)!has!traditionally!designed!
reactors!for!applications!in!the!1!to!200!kilowatt!electric!(kWe)!range!as!shown!in!
first!two!columns!in!Figure!1.!!Most!of!LANL’s!designs!have!been!for!space!
applications!for!the!National!Aeronautics!and!Space!Administration!(NASA.)!!Almost!
all!of!these!reactor!designs!are!based!on!a!small!highly!reflected!fast!reactor!concept!
that!use!heat!pipes!as!the!means!of!heat!removal!from!the!reactor!core.!!This!is!an!
ideal!technology!for!space!where!reliability!and!simplicity!are!key!requirements.!!!
LANL!performed!a!study!to!examine!the!issues!of!scaling!heat!pipe!reactor!
technology!to!the!low!megawatt!electric!(MWe)!range!(shown!in!third!column!of!
Figure!1.)!!The!low!MWe!range!is!an!area!that!was!examined!in!the!1950s!through!
1970s!by!the!U.S.!Army!for!power!at!remote!locations!such!as!the!Arctic,!Antarctica!
and!the!Panama!Canal.!!Power!at!remote!locations!removed!from!a!reliable!electrical!
grid!is!a!potential!future!niche!for!nuclear!energy.!!!Remote!locations!include!
strategic!defense!locations!(such!pacific!island!bases),!theaters!of!battle,!remote!

Citations
More filters

Journal ArticleDOI
B.H. Yan1, C. Wang, L.G. LiInstitutions (1)
Abstract: In this work, the development and technologies of micro heat pipe cooled reactor are overviewed. The micro heat pipe cooled reactor, mainly consists of a reactor core, energy conversion system, shielding and heat removal system, is a new type reactor using heat pipes to cool the core. It is a potential candidate for the electricity supplying in decentralized electricity market. With the adoption of heat pipe, monolithic core and high efficient energy conversion system, this reactor is greatly simplified by omitting the main pipeline, circulating pump and auxiliary equipments, which results in a low cost and compact system. The monolithic reactor design is highly evolved in neutronics and thermal hydraulics. Compared with the commercial nuclear power plant, these micro reactors are factory manufacturable and transportable, thus the launch or transportation accident safety should be guaranteed. Until now, this kind of reactor design of kilowatt level is more mature than that of megawatt level. The difficulties and challenges need to be overcome in the future are summarized, including heat pipe cascading failure, fuel enrichment, structure integrity, machining, monolithic thermal stress, inspection and qualification, etc.

25 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Esam M.A. Hussein1Institutions (1)
01 Dec 2020-
TL;DR: The promise of SMRs as means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their ability to supply reliable and base-load power, the licensing of such reactors by national regulators will provide a boost to their acceptability and adaptability as a player in combating climate change.
Abstract: This paper reviews the smallness, modularity and reactor-design aspects of emerging small modular reactors (SMRs). It is shown that small (whether in physical size or power level) reactors are not new, but offer economic and flexibility advantages that allow their use in a variety of applications. The different definitions of modularity are reviewed, including modularity in design, process intensification, manufacturing and construction. It is shown that these forms of modularity when applied to SMRs have some advantages, but also have some challenges that need to be addressed if their full potential is to be realized. Even if these forms of modularity are not fully utilized, the lower power ( ≤ 300 MW electrical) of SMRs allows the formation of larger power plants by incremental addition of reactor units, in the so-called scale modularity. The paper reviews the unique features of emerging SMR designs, and compares them to those of the early era of nuclear power. It is shown that while many modern SMR designs incorporate well-proven features that were tested and proven in early reactors. others introduce aspects of Generation IV reactors, in terms of inherent and/or passive safety. Given the promise of SMRs as means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their ability to supply reliable and base-load power, the licensing of such reactors by national regulators will provide a boost to their acceptability and adaptability as a player in combating climate change.

14 citations


ReportDOI
01 Jun 2019-

4 citations


Cites background from "Design of megawatt power level heat..."

  • ...Table 6: Geometry parameters for heat pipe single fuel cell Vapor core HP Wick HP Wall Fuel Hex can Inner Radius: m 0 0.015 0.016 0.017 0.0288675 Outer Radius: m 0.015 0.016 0.017 0.0288675 0.0311769 Support plate Bottom reflector Fuel Top reflector HP Adiabatic HP Condenser Height: m 0.05 0.15 1.00 0.15 0.40 0.30 Top location: m 0.05 0.20 1.20 1.35 1.75 2.05 The schematic for the single-cell model is shown in Figure 9....

    [...]

  • ...In contrast to the traditional nuclear reactor system that makes use of pumped loop for extracting the thermal power, the heat pipes reactors make use of hundreds of heat pipes for removing the thermal power (including the decay heat) passively [4]....

    [...]

  • ...Heat pipe-cooled fast-spectrum nuclear reactors are well suited for these applications [4]....

    [...]

  • ...[4] Mcclure, Patrick Ray, David Irvin Poston, Venkateswara Rao Dasari, and Robert Stowers Reid....

    [...]

  • ...It consists of Support plate, Bottom reflector, Fuel, Top reflector, Hex can, HP Wall, and HP Wick [4]....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Wenwen Zhang1, Wenwen Zhang2, Dalin Zhang1, Chenglong Wang1  +3 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: A new conceptual design of a megawatt power level heat pipe cooled space reactor (HPCR) power system adopted the integrated heatpipe-fuel modules is developed. A moderated thermal-neutron spectrum reactor, is designed with the thermal power of 3.2 MW. It consists of 234 HP-Fuel elements, which is a central lithium heat pipe surrounded by highly enriched UN fuel pellet with cladding on both radial sides. The dual closed Brayton dynamic conversion using binary He-Xe gas as working fluid is adopted. System waste heat is transported by the sodium–potassium (NaK) alloy cooling circuit to the potassium heat pipe radiation panels. The neutronic and CFD thermal–hydraulic analysis results are provided for the current design. The normal operation condition and event of a heat pipe failure are calculated and assessed. The redundancy and reliability of the core design is evaluated. The main design parameters of the dual-Brayton energy conversion system and heat pipe radiation panel are also illustrated. System heat balance analysis is performed. The potassium heat pipe radiator is designed and evaluated for the thermal performance.

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Nov 2020-Nuclear Technology
Abstract: The fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor and some proposed fusion reactors use clean fluoride salts as reactor coolants that have melting points above 450°C and generate tritium. Tritium d...

4 citations


Performance
Metrics
No. of citations received by the Paper in previous years
YearCitations
20222
202110
20207
20193