The Challenges in Modeling and Simulation of Fluoride-Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactors
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Accurate modeling and simulation (M&S) methods and tools are necessary to support design, analysis, and licensing of any reactor. This is one of the challenges that must be addressed for deployment of fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors (FHRs), as current M&S tools are insufficient due to unique phenomena associated with FHR operation including multiple heterogeneity in the reactor core, potentially large uncertainties in some of the fundamental cross section data for key reactor components, and others. FHRs offer benefits that include improved safety, proliferation-resistant waste, and improved thermodynamic efficiency due to higher operating temperatures. However, before these reactors can be deployed, several key technologies need to be developed further. In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy initiated two university-led Integrated Research Projects (IRP) to address challenges associated with several of these technologies, one led by Georgia Tech (GT), and one led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). To address the M&S challenge, the GT-led IRP organized several PIRT exercises to identify fundamental, underlying issues with FHR modeling. Additionally, the two IRP teams jointly organized an FHR M&S Workshop to identify gaps in current M&S tools.