Molten salt reactor (MSR) system, a candidate of the Generation IV reactors, has inherent safety, on-line refueling and good neutron economy as typical advantages.
An optimized MSR is developed by changing the size of fuel channel and the graphite-to-molten salt volume radio, based on the Molten-Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE), which was originally developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). In this paper, shielding calculations for the optimized MSR are presented. The goal of this study is to determine the necessary shielding to decrease the neutron and gamma dose rate to the acceptable level according to national regulations. The operating temperature of the optimized MSR is designed in the range of 500 °C–700 °C, heat removal is also considered in the shielding design.
The shielding calculations are carried out by using Monte Carlo method. The shielding system of the optimized MSR consists of 7 zones: the core, the core can, the reactor vessel, the thermal shield, the reactor cell containment, the shield tank and the concrete wall. The combinations of shielding materials in the thermal shield were evaluated. The thermal shield filled with carbon steel balls and circulating water gets an excellent shielding performance and heat removing effects. The neutron spectra and dose distributions, as well as the energy deposition over different shields have been analyzed. The total neutron dose rate outside the thermal shield is attenuated by a factor of about 104, and the gamma dose rate by a factor of about 103. These results show that the shielding design could low dose rate to an acceptable level outside the shielding and far below dose limit required.