High-Fidelity Modeling and Experiments to Inform Safety Analysis Codes for Heat Pipe Microreactors

Carolina da Silva Bourdot Dutra, Elia Merzari, John Acierno, Adam Kraus, Annalisa Manera, Victor Petrov, Taehwan Ahn, Pei Hsun Huang, Dillon Shaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Heat pipe microreactors are reactor designs that primarily use liquid-metal heat pipes to cool the core. The main interest in heat pipes is the fact that they can remove heat passively. This, along with the use of liquid metal, allows the reactor to operate at higher temperatures. Although the use of heat pipes in nuclear reactors is new, liquid-metal heat pipe technology is mature. Nevertheless, experimental data on heat pipes are scarce, and very little is known about their behavior during abnormal operations and close to their thermal limits. Therefore, new experiments and accurate heat pipe simulations are needed to develop reliable closure models. This work describes a joint experimental and numerical investigation into heat pipes that attempts an initial closure of this gap. The numerical and experimental efforts are currently proceeding in parallel, aimed at different aspects of heat pipes. The numerical part is focused on gaps in local closures, and the experiments capture the overall heat pipe behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1592-1616
Number of pages25
JournalNuclear Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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