Very High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (VHTR) has been selected as a high energy heat source for a nuclear hydrogen generation. The VHTR can produce hydrogen from heat and water by using a thermo-chemical process or from heat, water, and natural gas by steam reformer technology. Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) is in the process of carrying out a nuclear hydrogen system by considering the indirect cycle gas cooled reactors that produce heat at temperatures in the order of 950°. The nuclear hydrogen system is planning to produce hydrogen by using nuclear energy and a thermo-chemical process. Helium gas is the choice for the coolant of the nuclear hydrogen system since it is an inert gas, with no affinity to a chemical or nuclear activity; therefore a radioactivity transport in the primary circuit of the nuclear hydrogen system is minimal under a normal operation. Moreover, its gaseous nature avoids problems related to a phase change and water-metal reactions and therefore improves its safety. A coaxial double-tube hot gas duct (HGD) is a key component connecting the reactor pressure vessel and the intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) for the nuclear hydrogen system. In this study, a preliminary design analysis for the primary and secondary HGDs of the nuclear hydrogen system was carried out. These preliminary design activities include a preliminary decision on the geometric dimensions, a preliminary strength evaluation and an appropriate material selection. A preliminary decision on the geometric dimensions of the HGDs was undertaken based on three engineering concepts, such as a constant flow velocity model (CFV model), a constant flow rate model (CFR model), a constant hydraulic head model (CHH model), and also based on a heat balanced model (HB model). We compared the geometric dimensions and their preliminary strength evaluation results from the various models.

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