With the development of the nuclear energy industry, small modular reactors (SMRs) have become an important option in China’s energy development due to their advantages in terms of safety and economics. The helical-coil steam generator is an important part of SMR, and the structure parameters need to be optimized urgently to reduce costs and improve safety.

In this paper, various thermohydraulic parameters were used as indicators for the design quality of the helical-coil steam generator, such as the volume of the equipment, velocity of the flow, maximum temperature of the tubes, and natural circulation capability. The optimization of these target parameters has important theoretical and practical values. The genetic algorithm method is widely used to processes data efficiently, and it is able to reach a optimum design rapidly, which makes it a good choice for the optimization of parameters. The results show that this method could efficiently reduce the volume of the helical coil steam generator.

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