Investigation of Fundamental Phenomena Relevant to Coupling the Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Cycle to Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors

by James J. Sienicki, Claude B. Reed, David B. Chojnowski, Yoichi Momozaki, Craig D. Gerardi, Mitchell T. Farmer, & Dae H. Cho
Argonne National Laboratory

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The supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton cycle is well suited for application to Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors (SFRs) as an innovative and advanced power conversion technology. Utilization of compact diffusion-bonded heat exchangers is envisioned for the sodium-to-CO2 heat exchangers. It is essential to have an understanding of phenomena specific to the design and use of such heat exchangers. To provide this understanding, a suite of small-scale science-based experiments are being designed and assembled at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) to provide fundamental data on sodium plugging of sodium channels due to the precipitation upon cooling of dissolved oxygen contaminating the sodium, freezing and thawing of sodium in simple and prototypical sodium-to-CO2 heat exchanger sodium channels, draining and filling of sodium from heat exchanger sodium channels including the effects of heat exchanger orientation, effects of thermal shock upon sodium-to-CO2 heat exchangers, and sodium-CO2 interactions under prototypical conditions of release of CO2 into sodium.