Liquid-salt-cooled Reactor Start-up with Natural Circulation


  • Emilien Gros
  • Bojan Petrović
  • Davor Grgić



The Liquid-Salt-Cooled Very High-Temperature Reactor (LS-VHTR) was modeled using the neutronics analysis code SCALE6.0 and the thermal-hydraulics and kinetics modeling code RELAP5-3D with objective to devise, analyze, and evaluate the feasibility and stability of a start-up procedure for this reactor using natural circulation of the coolant and under the Loss Of Offsite Power (LOOP) conditions. This Generation IV reactor design has been initially developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and studied by researchers worldwide for almost a decade. While neutronics and thermal-hydraulics analyses have been previously performed to show the performance of the reactor during normal operation and for shutdown scenarios, no study has heretofore been published to examine the active or passive start-up of the reactor. The fuel temperature (Doppler) and coolant density coefficient of reactivity of the LSVHTR were examined using the CSAS6 module of the SCALE6.0 code. Negative Doppler and coolant density feedback coefficients were calculated. Two initial RELAP5 simulations were performed to obtain the steady-state conditions of the model and to predict the changes of the thermal-hydraulic parameters during the shutdown of the reactor. Next, a series of step reactivity additions to the core were simulated to determine how much reactivity can be inserted without jeopardizing the safety and stability of the core. Finally, a start-up procedure was developed, and the restart of the reactor with natural convection of the coolant was simulated. The results of the simulations demonstrated the potential for natural circulation start-up of the LS-VHTR.


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