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sCO2-HeRo Report Summary

Project ID: 662116
Funded under: H2020-Euratom-1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - sCO2-HeRo (The supercritical CO2 Heat Removal System)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The “supercritical CO2 heat removal system”, sCO2-HeRo, safely, reliably and efficiently removes residual heat from nuclear fuel without the requirement of external power sources. This system therefore can be considered as an excellent backup cooling system for the reactor core or the spent fuel storage in the case of a station blackout and loss of ultimate heat sink. sCO2-HeRo is a very innovative reactor safety concept as it improves the safety of currently operating BWRs and PWRs through a self-propellant, self-sustaining and self-launching, highly compact cooling system powered by an integrated Brayton-cycle using supercritical carbon dioxide. This system provides breakthrough options with scientific and practical maturity, which will be finally demonstrated and experimentally proven by reactor simulation studies in the unique glass model of the Gesellschaft für Simulatorschulung GfS, accompanied by simulation studies with the German thermal-hydraulic system code ATHLET. The objective of the project is to show the proof of the concept of the sCO2-HeRo system. The proof of the concept is defined as the capability of handling different accident scenarios.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In the first reporting period the system design of the sCO2-HeRo was performed and the components are specified to integrate the sCO2-HeRo into the glass model loop. This includes the major components as well as minor components like valves, pipes, the control system including the consideration of safety requirement like risk analysis etc. The SUSEN and SCARLET loop are prepared for the component tests to run individual tests for the heat exchangers and the turbo-machine. For the compact heat exchanger pre-test are accomplished to provide valuable input for the design and validation data of the numerical simulations which vice versa supports the design. The sink heat exchangers are ordered as well as the procurement process of the turbo-machine is finished.
The status of the project and its objective was presented on conferences and on the “1st European supercritical CO2 Power System” symposium chaired also by two members of the sCO2-HeRo team. Journalists interviewed the team at the glass model and a TV spot was published on the website. Students and PhD students supported the project with their work and energized the discussion about the nuclear industry.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The sCO2-HeRo project provides a level playing field for top-level scientists to enable their highly innovative ideas to demonstrate the functionality of the advanced self-sustaining safety system by
- designing a compact heat exchanger to transport the decay heat to the supercritical CO2 cycle whose energy is also used for driving the self-propellant cycle,
- designing a turbo-machine set which is self-propellant and self-launching, evaluation of a sink heat exchanger to transport the decay heat from the supercritical CO2 cycle to the alternative ultimate heat sink (ambient air),
- ensuring quality assurance by individual component reviewing and testing the individual components in a supercritical CO2 loop to demonstrate the fulfilment of industrial standards like the KTA and
- finally proofing the concept of sCO2-HeRo regarding safety, reliability and the possibilities for retrofitting by implementing the system into a unique glass model run by the Gesellschaft für Simulatorschulung GfS.
By demonstrating the functionality of the system, it enables the nuclear industry to increase the level of safety for black-outs. In addition the know-how of supercritical CO2 system unleashes some capabilities and options for the energy market e.g. for the concentrated solar power industry and for the environment by using CO2 instead of water which is very rare in the area of the plants for solar power.

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