Experimental facility for development of high-temperature reactor technology: instrumentation needs and challenges
Idaho National Laboratory, PO Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-3860, USA
2 Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
* e-mail: Piyush.Sabharwall@inl.gov
Received in final form: 8 October 2015
Accepted: 2 November 2015
Published online: 11 December 2015
A high-temperature, multi-fluid, multi-loop test facility is under development at the Idaho National Laboratory for support of thermal hydraulic materials, and system integration research for high-temperature reactors. The experimental facility includes a high-temperature helium loop, a liquid salt loop, and a hot water/steam loop. The three loops will be thermally coupled through an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) and a secondary heat exchanger (SHX). Research topics to be addressed include the characterization and performance evaluation of candidate compact heat exchangers such as printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHEs) at prototypical operating conditions. Each loop will also include an interchangeable high-temperature test section that can be customized to address specific research issues associated with each working fluid. This paper also discusses needs and challenges associated with advanced instrumentation for the multi-loop facility, which could be further applied to advanced high-temperature reactors. Based on its relevance to advanced reactor systems, the new facility has been named the Advanced Reactor Technology Integral System Test (ARTIST) facility. A preliminary design configuration of the ARTIST facility will be presented with the required design and operating characteristics of the various components. The initial configuration will include a high-temperature (750 °C), high-pressure (7 MPa) helium loop thermally integrated with a molten fluoride salt (KF-ZrF4) flow loop operating at low pressure (0.2 MPa), at a temperature of ∼450 °C. The salt loop will be thermally integrated with the steam/water loop operating at PWR conditions. Experiment design challenges include identifying suitable materials and components that will withstand the required loop operating conditions. The instrumentation needs to be highly accurate (negligible drift) in measuring operational data for extended periods of times, as data collected will be used for code and model verification and validation, one of the key purposes for the loop. The experimental facility will provide a much-needed database for successful development of advanced reactors and provide insight into the needs and challenges in instrumentation for advanced high-temperature reactors.
© P. Sabharwall et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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