Advertisement

Characterization of molten 2LiF–BeF2 salt impregnated into graphite matrix of fuel elements for thorium molten salt reactor

  • Hong-Xia XuEmail author
  • Jun Lin
  • Ya-Juan Zhong
  • Zhi-Yong Zhu
  • Yu Chen
  • Jian-Dang Liu
  • Bang-Jiao Ye
Article
  • 28 Downloads

Abstract

The impregnation behavior of molten 2LiF–BeF2 (FLiBe) salt into a graphite matrix of fuel elements for a solid fuel thorium molten salt reactor (TMSR-SF) at pressures varying from 0.4 to 1.0 MPa was studied by mercury intrusion, molten salt impregnation, X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy techniques. It was found that the entrance pore diameter of the graphite matrix is less than 1.0 µm and the contact angle is about 135°. The threshold impregnation pressure was found to be around 0.6 MPa experimentally, consistent with the predicted value of 0.57 MPa by the Washburn equation. With the increase of pressure from 0.6 to 1.0 MPa, the average weight gain of the matrix increased from 3.05 to 10.48%, corresponding to an impregnation volume increase from 2.74 to 9.40%. The diffraction patterns of FLiBe are found in matrices with high impregnation pressures (0.8 MPa and 1.0 MPa). The FLiBe with sizes varying from tens of nanometers to a micrometer mainly occupies the open pores in the graphite matrix. The graphite matrix could inhibit the impregnation of the molten salt in the TMSR-SF with a maximum operation pressure of less than 0.5 MPa.

Keywords

Molten salt reactor FLiBe Impregnation Graphite matrix 

References

  1. 1.
    T. Abram, S. Ion, Generation-IV nuclear power: a review of the state of the science. Energy Policy 36, 4323–4330 (2008).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2008.09.059 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R.O. Scarlat, P.F. Peterson, The current status of fluoride salt cooled high temperature reactor (FHR) technology and its overlap with HIF target chamber concepts. Nucl. Inst. Methods Phys. Res. Sect. A 733, 57–64 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2013.05.094 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    G.L. Yoder, A. Aaron, B. Cunningham et al., An experimental test facility to support development of the fluoride-salt-cooled high temperature reactor. Ann. Nucl. Energy 64, 511–517 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anucene.2013.08.008 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. Serp, M. Allibert, O. Benes et al., The molten salt reactor (MSR) in generation IV: overview and perspectives. Prog. Nucl. Energy 77, 308–319 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnucene.2014.02.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. Acir, Neutronic analysis of the laser inertial confinement fusion-fission energy (LIFE) engine using various thorium molten salts. J. Fusion Energy 32(6), 634–641 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10894-013-9628-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Y. Zhong, X. Yang, D. Ding et al., Numerical study of thedynamic characteristics of a single-layer graphite core in a thorium molten salt reactor. Nucl. Sci. Tech. 29, 141 (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s41365-018-0488-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    X. Yang, Y.T. Gao, Y. Zhong et al., Stress analysis of the TMSR graphite component under irradiation conditions. Nucl. Sci. Tech. 29, 173 (2018).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s41365-018-0516-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Z.M. Dai, Thorium molten salt reactor nuclear energy system (TMSR), in Molten Salt Reactors and Thorium Energy, pp. 531–540 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-08-101126-3.00017-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    H. Tang, W. Qi, Z.T. He et al., Infiltration of graphite by molten 2LiF–BeF2 salt. J. Mater. Sci. 52, 11346–11359 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10853-017-1310-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    K.J. Kruger, G.P. Ivens, Safety-related experiences with the AVR reactor, in Proceedings of A Specialists’ Meeting on Safety and Accident Analysis for Gas-cooled Reactors. USA: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, IAEA-TECDOC-358, pp. 61–70 (1985)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    J.J. Powers, B.D. Wirth, A review of TRISO fuel performance models. J. Nucl. Mater. 405(1), 74–82 (2010).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2010.07.030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Advances in high temperature gas cooled reactor fuel technology. Austria: Vienna. IAEA-TECDOC-1674 (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    C.H. Tang, Y.P. Tang, J.G. Zhu et al., Design and manufacture of the fuel element for the 10 MW high temperature gas-cooled reactor. Nucl. Eng. Des. 218, 91–102 (2002).  https://doi.org/10.1016/s0029-5493(02)00201-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    R.E. Schulze, H.A. Schulze, W. Rind, Graphitic Matrix Materials for Spherical HTR Fuel Elements. Germany, JUEL–1702 (1981)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    R.B. Briggs, Molten Salt Reactors Program Progress Report for Period from August 1, 1960 to February 28 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL-3122, USA, 1961), pp. 93–95Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    R.B. Briggs, Molten Salt Reactors Program Semiannual Progress Report for Period Ending February 28. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL-3282, USA, 1962), pp. 90–94Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    H.G. MacPherson, Molten-Salt Reactor Project: Quarterly Progress Report (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL-2723, USA, 1959)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    W.R. Grimes, E.G. Bohlmann, H.F. McDuffie et al., Reactor Chemistry Division Annual Progress Report for Period Ending January 31 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL-3591, USA, 1964), p. 39Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Z. He, L. Gao, W. Qi et al., Molten FLiNaK salt infiltration into degassed nuclear graphite under inert gas pressure. Carbon 84, 511–518 (2015).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2014.12.044 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    P.R. Kasten, E.S. Bettis, W.H. Cook et al., Graphite behavior and its effects on MSBR performance. Nucl. Eng. Des. 9(2), 157–195 (1969).  https://doi.org/10.1016/0029-5493(69)90057-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Y.J. Zhong, J.P. Zhang, J. Lin et al., Mesocarbon microbead based graphite for spherical fuel element to inhibit the infiltration of liquid fluoride salt in molten salt reactor. J. Nucl. Mater. 490, 34–40 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.04.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    AutoPore IV 9500 Operator’s Manual V1.04, Micromeritics Instrument corporation, Part No. 950-42801-01 (August 2001)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Standard guide for impregnation of graphite with molten salt, Designation: D809116 (2017)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    S. Cantor, J.W. Cooke, A.S. Dworkin et al., Physical Properties of Molten-Salt Reactor Fuel, Coolant and Flush Salts (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ORNL-TM-2316, USA, 1968)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    T.T. Chau, A review of techniques for measurement of contact angles and their applicability on mineral surfaces. J. Miner Eng. 22(3), 213–219 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mineng.2008.07.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    A.S. Dimitrov, P.A. Kralchevsky, A.D. Nikolov et al., Contact angle measurements with sessile drops and bubbles. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 145(1), 279–282 (1991).  https://doi.org/10.1016/0021-9797(91)90120-w CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    M.A. Duchesne, R.W. Hughes, Slag density and surface tension measurements by the constrained sessile drop method. Fuel 188, 173–181 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fuel.2016.10.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    E.W. Washburn, The dynamics of capillary flow. Phys. Rev. 117(3), 273–283 (1921)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    J.P.M. van der Meer, R.J.M. Konings, H.A.J. Oonk, Thermodynamic assessment of the LiF–BeF2–ThF4–UF4 system. J. Nucl. Mater. 357, 48–57 (2006).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2006.05.042 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    A. Awasthi, Y.J. Bhatt, S.P. Garg, Measurement of contact angle in systems involving liquid metals. Meas. Sci. Technol. 7, 753–757 (1996).  https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-0233/7/5/005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    T. Tanabe, K. Niwase, N. Tsukuda et al., On the characterization of graphite. J. Nucl Mater. 191–194(A), 330–334 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    S.F. Bartram, E.F. Kaelble, Handbook of X-Rays for Diffraction, Emission, Absorption and Microscopy (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1967), pp. 17.1–17.18Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    C.L. Qian, G.Z. Zhou, Q.Z. Huang, Graphitization measurement of carbon materials by X-ray diffraction. J. Cent. South Univ. Technol. 3, 285–288 (2001)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    J.L. Song, Y.L. Zhao, J.P. Zhang et al., Preparation of binderless nanopore-isotropic graphite for inhibiting the liquid fluoride salt and Xe135 penetration for molten salt nuclear reactor. Carbon 79, 36–45 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbon.2014.07.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    V. Bernardet, S. Gomes, S. Delpeux et al., Protection of nuclear graphite toward fluoride molten salt by glassy carbon deposit. J. Nucl. Mater. 384, 292–302 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2008.11.032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. (Science Press), Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Nuclear Society and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hong-Xia Xu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun Lin
    • 1
  • Ya-Juan Zhong
    • 1
  • Zhi-Yong Zhu
    • 1
  • Yu Chen
    • 1
  • Jian-Dang Liu
    • 2
  • Bang-Jiao Ye
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Thorium Molten Salt Reactor System, Shanghai Institute of Applied PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Particle Detection and ElectronicsUniversity of Science and Technology of China (USTC)HefeiChina

Personalised recommendations