One of the most important properties of the modular high temperature gas-cooled reactor is that the decay heat in the core can be carried out solely by means of passive physical mechanism after shutdown due to accidents. The maximum fuel temperature is guaranteed not to exceed the design limitation, so as to the integrity of the fuel particles and the ability of retaining fission product will keep well. Nonetheless, the auxiliary active core cooling should be design to help removing the decay heat and keeping the reactor in an appropriate condition effectively and quickly in case of reactor scram due to any transient and the main helium blower or steam generator unusable.
Based on the preliminary design of the 250 MW pebble-bed modular high temperature gas-cooled reactor, assuming that the core cooling will be started up 1 hour after the scram, different core cooling schemes are studied in this paper. After the reactor shutdown, a certain degree of natural convection will come into being in the core due to the non-uniform temperature distribution, which will accordingly change the core temperature distribution and in turn influence the outlet hot helium temperature. Different cooling flow rates are also analyzed, and the important parameters, such as the fuel temperature, outlet hot helium temperature and the pressure vessel temperature, are studied in detail. A feasible core cooling scheme, as well as the reasonable design parameters could be determined based on the analysis. It is suggested that, considering the temperature limitation of the structure material, the coolant flow direction should be same as that of the normal operation, and the flow rate could not be too large.