Pebble-bed nuclear reactor technology, with a reactor core typically composed of spherical pebbles draining very slowly in a continuous refueling process, is currently being revived around the world. But the dense slow pebble flow in the reactor, which has an important impact on reactor physics, is still poorly understood. Under such circumstance, this article studies mathematical models which are potential to research the pebbles motion in the pebble-bed reactor, including void model, spot model and DEM model. The fundamental principles of these models are introduced, the success and deficiency of each model is briefly analyzed. Theoretically, it’s expected that spot model and DEM model may be more practical to apply on studying the pebble dynamics. Though, spot model still needs to be refined based on further experimentation, and more research is necessary to solve the problem of huge computational time in order to make the DEM model simulation technique a really practical notion.

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