Establishment of a Lead Loop Facility to Support Lead Cooled Fast Reactor Design
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A new test loop made out of FeCrAl based oxide dispersion strengthened steel (ODS) MA956 is established at the University of New Mexico (UNM). The facility will support Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) program’s cartridge design out-of-pile to explore solutions for material compatibility issues of Lead Cooled Fast Reactors (LFRs). The loop is capable of operating up to 700 °C. While the flow rate in the MA956 pipe can reach up to 1 m/s, the specimen holders are designed to allow flow rates on the test specimens to reach 3 m/s. Numerical modeling is utilized to guide the experiments and assess the sensitivity to different design and operation parameters. In addition to the materials testing, a variety instrumentation needed for the operation of the reactors as well thermal hydraulics studies through a heat exchanger is also considered.
This work was supported by the Battel Energy Alliance LLC and the US Department of Energy (DOE-NEUP and VTR Programs) under the contract with the University of New Mexico (DE-NE0008789). The initial simulations were performed using computational resources provided by the University of New Mexico. Authors also acknowledges partial support by NRC faculty development grant (# NRC-HQ-60-17-G-0007).