Modeling and simulation functional needs for molten salt reactor licensing

Benjamin R. Betzler, Florent Heidet, Bo Feng, Cristian Rabiti, Tanju Sofu, Nicholas R. Brown

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Scopus citations


    The modeling and simulation functional needs to license and design molten salt reactor concepts were assessed and an evaluation methodology was developed using a licensing-focused approach considering the modeling and simulation components that contribute to a molten salt reactor safety analysis report. These functional needs were prioritized by identifying the relationships between functional needs and using a quantitative weighting method to identify the most critical components to build a licensing case. This novel weighting method provided a list of functional needs prioritized relative to key advanced reactor licensing outcomes. In addition, functional need inputs were ranked to reveal those that feed the most modeling and simulation components. The findings from this prioritization effort were used to inform the modeling and simulation goals of the US Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) Molten Salt Reactor campaign. Modeling and simulation needs were grouped into three main categories: (1) source term definition, material accountancy, and radiological consequences, (2) safety analysis, and (3) steady-state neutronics and thermal hydraulics. Five near-term goals were identified among these focus areas that add value: (1) deploying a systems and safeguards analysis computational tool, (2) defining source terms for molten salt reactor analysis and interfacing with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission on accident progression analysis, (3) developing point designs for liquid-fueled thermal-spectrum and fast-spectrum molten salt reactors, (4) building safety analysis specifications and reference solutions for Molten Salt Reactor Experiment transients, and (5) interfacing with the thermophysical and thermodynamic salt chemistry databases.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number110308
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    StatePublished - Dec 15 2019

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • General Materials Science
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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