Development of a control-oriented power plant simulator for the molten salt fast reactor
Politecnico di Milano, Department of Energy, Nuclear Engineering Division,
Via La Masa 34, 20156 Milan, Italy
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 27 July 2019
Accepted: 26 August 2019
Published online: 11 November 2019
In this paper, modelling and simulation of a control-oriented plant-dynamics tool for the molten salt fast reactor (MSFR) is presented. The objective was to develop a simulation tool aimed at investigating the plant response to standard control transients, in order to support the system design finalization and the definition of control strategies. The simulator was developed employing the well tested, flexible and open-source object-oriented Modelica language. A one-dimensional modelling approach was used for thermal-hydraulics and heat transfer. Standard and validated thermal-hydraulic Modelica libraries were employed for various plant components (tubes, pumps, turbines, etc.). An effort was spent in developing a new MSR library modelling the 1D flow of a liquid nuclear fuel, including an ad-hoc neutron-kinetics model which properly takes into consideration the motion of the Delayed Neutron Precursors along the fuel circuit and the consequent reactivity insertion due to the variation of the effective delayed fractions. An analytical steady-state 2-D model of the core and the fuel circuit was developed using MATLAB in order to validate the Decay Neutron Precursors model implemented in the plant simulator. The plant simulator was then employed to investigate the plant dynamics in response to three transients (variation of fuel flow rate, intermediate flow rate and turbine gas flow rate) that are relevant to control purposes. Simulation outcomes highlight the typical reactor-follows-turbine behavior of the MSFR, and they show the small influence of fuel and intermediate flow rate on the reactor power and their strong effects on the temperatures in their respective circuits. Starting from the insights on the reactor behavior gained from the analysis of its free dynamics, the plant simulator here developed will provide a valuable tool in support to the finalization of the design phase, the definition of control strategies and the identification of controlled operational procedures for reactor startup and shutdown.
© C. Tripodo et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2019
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