Concept of a high temperature integrated multi-modular thermal reactor
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The high temperature integrated multi-modular thermal reactor is a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor that uses an enhanced conductivity BeO-UO2 fuel with supercritical CO2 coolant to drive turbo-machinery in a direct Brayton cycle. The core consists of several self-contained pressurized modules, each containing fuel elements in pressurized channels surrounded by a graphite moderator, and Brayton cycle turbo-machinery. Each module is subcritical by itself, and when several modules are brought into proximity of one another, a single critical core is formed. The multi-modular approach and use of BeO-UO2 fuel with graphite moderator and supercritical CO2 coolant leads to an inherently safe system capable of high efficiency operation. The pressure channel design and multi-modular approach eliminates engineering challenges associated with large pressure vessels, and the subcriticality of the modules ensures inherent safety during construction, transportation, and after decommissioning. A feasible configuration consisting of seven modules operating for 14.7 years at 10 MW th power using 5% BeO and 5% 235U enriched fuel is presented in this paper. The results of the conceptual analysis include flux and power distributions as well as potential power shaping and reactivity coefficients were analyzed. 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.