Cocheme, Francois Guilhem (2004-12). Assessment of passive decay heat removal in the General Atomics Modular Helium Reactor. Master's Thesis.
The purpose of this report is to present the results of the study and analysis of loss-of-coolant and loss-of-flow simulations performed on the Modular Helium Reactor developed by General Atomics using the thermal-hydraulics code RELAP5-3D/ATHENA. The MHR is a high temperature gas cooled reactor. It is a prismatic core concept for New Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP). Very few reactors of that kind have been designed in the past. Furthermore, the MHR is supposed to be a highly passively safe concept. So there are high needs for numerical simulations in order to confirm the design. The project is dedicated to the assessment of the passive decay heat capabilities of the reactor under abnormal transient conditions. To comply with the requirements of the NGNP, fuel and structural temperatures must be kept under design safety limits under any circumstances. During the project, the MHR has been investigated: first under steady-state conditions and then under transient settings. The project confirms that satisfying passive decay heat removal by means of natural heat transfer mechanisms (convection, conduction and radiation) occurs.