IN-CORE TRITIUM UPTAKE BY GRAPHITE IN THE FLUORIDE-SALT COOLED HIGH TEMPERATURE REACTOR (FHR)
Department of Engineering Physics
University of Wisconsin Madison
One of the key technological challenges for Fluoride-Salt-Cooled High Temperature Reactors (FHRs) is tritium management. Tritium is produced by neutron activation of the lithium-6 and beryllium-9 isotopes that are constituents of the 2LiF-BeF2 molten salt (flibe) primary coolant. The FHR fuel elements provide a high surface area of removable graphite, which may serve as an effective tritium sink for the tritium. In order to develop a predictive model for the transport of tritium from molten flibe into graphite, the following phenomena need to be characterized: chemical speciation and mass transport in the flibe melt, transport across the salt-graphite interface, transport and reversible chemical trapping within the graphite, the effect of the chemical and physical interaction between flibe and graphite on tritium transport, and the effect of neutron irradiation on graphite. This talk will provide an overview of studies in support of the development of predictive time-dependent models for the uptake of tritium in an FHR core.
Raluca Scarlat is an assistant professor at UW Madison in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. She has a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from UC Berkeley, and a B.S. in chemical and biomolecular engineering from Cornell University. Prior to her doctoral studies she has worked for GE and ExxonMobil. In 2011, she advised for Hitachi-GE, in Japan, on post-Fukushima changes to severe accident guidelines for the Japanese fleet of reactors. In her current work she studies thermal-hydraulics, chemistry and mass transport in molten fluoride salts. She has published articles in Nuclear Engineering and Design, Nuclear Instruments and Methods, Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, and Progress in Nuclear Energy. Her research interests are in the area of heat and mass transport, thermal-hydraulics, nuclear reactor safety and design, and engineering ethics.