Challenging state-of-the art thermal hydraulics simulation capabilities for high temperature gas-cooled reactors

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High temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) provide high temperature process heat and can thus support decarbonising heat supply for various industries. Two experimental reactors and the commercial scale High-Temperature gas-cooled Reactor Pebble-bed Module (HTR-PM) power plant are currently in operation in China and Japan. HTR-PM achieved its nominal 210 MW electric power output in 2022, and the HTGR technology is also a basis for several other commercial small modular reactor (SMR) developments with outlet temperatures of >600°C.

A new NEA thermal hydraulic code validation benchmark for high temperature gas-cooled reactors using HTTF data (HTGR T/H) will serve to benchmark the modelling and simulation tools for thermal-hydraulics calculations of HTGRs which are key elements needed to efficiently develop and deploy new advanced reactors.

The first workshop of the HTGR T/H benchmark took place at the Oregon State University in Corvallis, United States, on 5-6 June 2023. The event gathered 48 experts from 13 countries to discuss their future common benchmarking efforts on HTGR T/H which spans 3 benchmark problems with 8 exercises. The broad commitment to join the code-to-code and code-to-experiment comparisons proves the interest among the expert community.

HTTF Workshop photoIn-person participants of the kick-off workshop of the thermal hydraulic code validation benchmark for high temperature gas-cooled reactors using High Temperature Test Facility (HTTF) data

The benchmark is organised by a joint benchmark team from Argonne National Laboratory, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Idaho National Laboratory, Oregon State University, and University of Tennessee Knoxville under the guidance of the NEA Expert Group on Reactor Core Thermal-hydraulics and Mechanics.

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