Thermal-hydraulics and safety analysis of sectored compact reactor for lunar surface power | Conference Paper individual record

The liquid NaK-cooled, fast-neutron spectrum, Sectored Compact Reactor (SCoRe-N 5) concept has been developed at the University of New Mexico for lunar surface power applications. It is loaded with highly enriched UN fuel pins in a triangular lattice, and nominally operates at exit and inlet coolant temperatures of 850 K and 900 K. This long-life reactor generates up to 1 MW th continuously for ≥ 20 years. To avoid a single point failure in reactor cooling, the core is divided into 6 sectors that are neutronically and thermally coupled, but hydraulically independent. This paper performs a 3-D the thermal-hydraulic analysis of SCoRe--N 5 at nominal operation temperatures and a power level of 1 MW th. In addition, the paper investigates the potential of continuing reactor operation at a lower power in the unlikely event that one sector in the core experiences a loss of coolant (LOC). Redesigning the core with a contiguous steel matrix enhances the cooling of the sector experiencing a LOC. Results show that with a core sector experiencing a LOC, SCORE-N 5 could continue operating safely at a reduced power of 166.6 kW th.

author list (cited authors)
Schriener, T. M., & El-Genk, M. S.
publication date