The Advanced High Temperature Reactor (AHTR) is a fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (FHR) design concept that is currently being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for efficient production of electricity with improved safety features. Transient analyses of different scenarios are critical to demonstrate the safety of the AHTR design. An AHTR reactor model has been developed using RELAP5/SCDAPSIM/MOD 4.0. Thermodynamic and transport properties of three molten fluoride salts, namely FLiBe, FLiNaK, and KF-ZrF4, have been implemented into the RELAP5 code. The AHTR RELAP5 model consists of a reactor core, an upper plenum, a lower plenum, three primary loops, and three Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling Systems (DRACS) loops. DRACS Heat Exchangers (DHX) and Natural Draft Heat Exchangers (NDHX) are important components of DRACS and provide coupling between the primary loops and DRACS loops, and DRACS loops and air chimneys, respectively. Single-wall fluted tube heat exchanger designs have been proposed for the DHX and the NDHX to improve heat transfer performance in the two heat exchangers, and heat transfer correlations for fluted tubes have also been implemented into the RELAP5 code.
In this study, steady-state reactor normal operation and two transient scenarios are analyzed with the RELAP5 AHTR model. Based on a thermal hydraulics Phenomena Identification Ranking Table (PIRT) exercise, loss of forced circulation (LOFC) and loss of multiple DRACS loops are selected as the two transients for analysis. During transients, the decay heat is removed by the ambient air, fully relying on natural circulation/convection. The results of both transient scenarios show sufficient decay heat removal capabilities of DRACS with the proposed design.