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On the employment of a chloride or fluoride salt fuel system in advanced molten salt reactors, part 1: thermophysical properties and core criticality

Noorikalkhoran, Omid ORCID:, Litskevich, Dzianis, Detkina, Anna, Jain, Lakshay, Cartland-Glover, Gregory and Merk, Bruno 2022. On the employment of a chloride or fluoride salt fuel system in advanced molten salt reactors, part 1: thermophysical properties and core criticality. Energies 15 (23) , 8865. 10.3390/en15238865

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Molten salt reactors (MSRs), as one of the six main technologies of Gen IV, can meet the broad area of sustainability, economics, safety and reliability, proliferation resistance and physical protection goals. One of the main and first challenges in designing molten salt fast reactors (MSFRs) is the selection of an appropriate molten salt fuel system based on the envisaged applications and objectives. In this study’s series, a full-scope evaluation has been conducted about employing either chloride or fluoride salt fuels as the main competitors’ candidates for fuel salt in MSFR designs. Two distinguished projects, EVOL (CNRS, Grenoble-France), based on fluoride salt, and iMAGINE (The University of Liverpool, UK), based on chloride salts, were considered in order to achieve this goal as case studies. The first part of this series (part 1—this article) deals with the investigation of the thermophysical properties of the salt fuel system, criticality search and neutron-flux energy spectrum. An identical typical design of the MSFR core has been considered for a neutronic simulation by using MCNPX V2.7 based on the chemical composition of the fuel salt mentioned in both projects. The thermophysical evaluation has been conducted through literature research and theoretical methods based on the experimental values for the salt component properties. The results of the study are presented for thermophysical properties, including the melting point, vapour pressure/boiling point, specific heat capacity, thermal conductivity and density, in addition to neutronic simulation for the core critical dimension and neutron-flux spectrum of both the chloride- and fluoride-based salt fuel systems. In the discussion of the results, it is concluded that both the chloride and fluoride salt fuel systems have benefits that are seen on different comparative parameters. The delivered data will provide future decision makers with evidence for the salt choice for balancing their design objectives with the opportunities and expectations. Thus, a final selection of the most appropriate salt fuel system to be used in MSFRs will be postponed for more investigation in the final part of this article series, combining the data with different potential user profiles.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1996-1073
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 21 November 2022
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2024 14:50

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