• Design and development of Indian Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (IMSBR), Innovative High Temperature Reactor (IHTR) and Compact High Temperature Reactor (CHTR)
• Development of materials, systems and technologies for IMSBR and HTRs
• Design of experimental facilities for validation of IMSBR design in Molten Salt Breeder Reactor Development Facility (MSBRDF)
• Component development for molten fluoride salts at high temperatures aimed for IMSBR
• Studies and technology development for Super-critical carbon-dioxide based Brayton cycle for IMSBR and IHTR
• Component development for high temperature service conditions
• Studies and technology development for IMSBR, IHTR and CHTR (in collaboration with other divisions)
• Design of irradiation testing devices for Jules Horowitz Reactor under DAE-CEA collaboration
• Organising international workshops/meetings under School of Advanced Nuclear Energy System Studies (SANESS) of Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP)
Test facility for molten fluoride salt purification was installed inside an inert gas glove box. This facility is based on electrochemical purification technique. A system based on three electrodes, consisting of a platinum reference electrode, a molybdenum working electrode and a graphite counter electrode was used. Purification of FLiNaK, the coolant salt for IMSBR and IHTR, was carried out.
Core vessel for 5MWth IMSBR has been designed. The design has been done considering the current reactor physics design and level-A service loadings. The material of construction is Ni based super alloy developed in-house. The moderator and reflector are graphite blocks. The R&D areas required for its fabrication have been identified.
Supercritical CO2 (S-CO2) based Brayton cycle has been choosen for the power conversion cycle for 5 MWth IMSBR. The heat from the fuel salt is transferred to the S-CO2 by means of an intermediate coolant salt and a salt-CO2 heat exchanger. The P0 version of salt- S-CO2 heat exchanger has been designed for Level-A loadings using guidelines of ASME BPVC and TEMA code. An all welded, fully radiographable configuration has been chosen. The R&D areas required for its fabrication have been identified.
Nickel based super alloy has been developed as the primary material of construction for IMSBR and IHTR. The alloy is primarily composed of Ni, Mo, Cr and Ti and is meant for long term operation in molten fluoride salt environment and temperatures upto 700 deg. C. The major elements of the alloy have been selected based on thermodynamic compatibility with fluoride salt, oxidation resistance and ease of fabrication point of view. This development work was carried out in collaboration with MSD and MIDHANI.
Facility for determination of impurities in molten fluoride salt (oxide and cationic impurities) was installed and operated. The system is based on voltammetry principle using a three electrode system. Impurity measurement in FLiNaK (the coolant salt of IMSBR and IHTR) has been carried out. The system can be used for online impurity measurement.
Fuel Salt Circulating Pump (FSCP) for 5MWth IMSBR has been designed to operate at 665 deg. C in a highly radioactive molten fluoride salt environment. It as a vertical long shaft single stage sump type pump. The motor and the upper mechanical bearing are located above the biological shielding to allow for easy maintenance and repair. The lower end of the shaft is supported by means of a hydro-static bearing and the shaft is sealed by a non-contact type mechanical seal. The rotating assembly has been designed for easy removal and transportation to a hot cell for maintenance.
The facility is aimed at validating operation of CHTR using electrical heating. The facility with lead-bismuth based coolant and SS316L based structural material will be operated upto 550 °C. The facility uses graphite based moderator and reflector system, instead of BeO. The fuel tube and down comer tubes are also made of graphite. The graphite components have been machined at AFD and the metallic components of SS316L are being fabricated at CDM. The fuel simulating heaters have been developed by RED and are under manufacture. It is planned to setup this facility in CFB when all the systems are ready.
CHTR-B is the lower temperature (~550 °C) and higher power (5 MWth) version of CHTR. This uses lead-bismuth based coolant and SS316L as the structural material. Thermal and structural design of core internals of CHTR-B was completed. The core internals of CHTR-B were designed as per ASME BPVC Section III Division 5 guidelines. The core components subjected to most severe loadings were structurally assessed as per codal guidelines for design loads under non-irradiated conditions. The combined equivalent stresses were found to be in limits determined from material reliability curves for all the components.
Design of bi-axial creep measurement device for material irradiation testing for Jules Horowitz Reactor (JHR) under DAE-CEA collaboration was completed. JHR is a light water pool type reactor of CEA, France. The deliverable under the collaboration is "Development of a sample holder for testing materials at high temperature with online monitoring of geometrical changes". The scope of the item involves design and development of sample holder with on-line measurement of dimensional changes. Design of bi-axial creep measurement device has been completed and accepted by CEA. Design of out of pile test facilities for displacement sensors as well as sample holder has been completed.
The School of Advanced Nuclear Energy System Studies (SANESS) of GCNEP is aimed at design studies and analysis of advanced nuclear energy systems with features to intrinsically enhance safety, security, proliferation resistance and sustainability. The objectives include conducting international training workshops, meetings and collaborative R&D. Technical exchanges on prominent topics of advanced nuclear energy systems were carried out through workshops, courses, meetings etc. They were carried out in collaboration with IAEA and experts from various USA laboratories. A laboratory is also being setup at GCNEP site for fulfilling school’s objectives.
This facility is used for studies on kinetics of graphite oxidation. The oxidation behavior is measured by measuring the weight loss of a sample at temperatures of upto 1000 °C. The facility has been designed to meet the requirements of ASTM D-7542.
The inert gas gloveboxes is used for preparation, handling and basic experimentation of molten fluoride salts. Internal environment of gloveboxes are maintained at oxygen <1 ppm, moisture <1 ppm & pressure 10-30 mm Hg.
This instrument was developed in-house as similar systems are not available commercially. It is based on Archimedes principle. The density of molten nitrate salts has been measured with an accuracy better than 0.5%.
The high temperature oscillating cup viscometer has been developed in-house as an import substitute for measuring the viscosity of molten salts. The sample is sealed in a cup, which prevents interaction of the sample with the cover gas or ambient air. It also facilitates easy handling of low level active salts. The viscosity is determined by measuring the change in damping of cup oscillations. The system was tested with simulant fluids and achieved good results.
Heat pipe fabrication set-up consisting of inert gas recirculating glove box, high vacuum dry pump, dry helium leak detector, residual gas analyser, out-gassing furnace, compact spot welding machine, etc. has been set-up. Design, fabrication of a sodium heat pipe and its operation upto 800 °C has been successfully demonstrated.