Transient simulation of an endothermic chemical process facility coupled to a high temperature reactor: Model development and validation

Nicholas R. Brown, Volkan Seker, Shripad T. Revankar, Thomas J. Downar

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Scopus citations


    A high temperature reactor (HTR) is a candidate to drive high temperature water-splitting using process heat. While both high temperature nuclear reactors and hydrogen generation plants have high individual degrees of development, study of the coupled plant is lacking. Particularly absent are considerations of the transient behavior of the coupled plant, as well as studies of the safety of the overall plant. The aim of this document is to contribute knowledge to the effort of nuclear hydrogen generation. In particular, this study regards identification of safety issues in the coupled plant and the transient modeling of some leading candidates for implementation in the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI). The Sulfur Iodine (SI) and Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) cycles are considered as candidate hydrogen generation schemes. Three thermodynamically derived chemical reaction chamber models are coupled to a well-known reference design of a high temperature nuclear reactor. These chemical reaction chamber models have several dimensions of validation, including detailed steady state flowsheets, integrated loop test data, and bench scale chemical kinetics. The models and coupling scheme are presented here, as well as a transient test case initiated within the chemical plant. The 50 feed flow failure within the chemical plant results in a slow loss-of-heat sink (LOHS) accident in the nuclear reactor. Due to the temperature feedback within the reactor core the nuclear reactor partially shuts down over 1500 s. Two distinct regions are identified within the coupled plant response: (1) immediate LOHS due to the loss of the sulfuric acid decomposition section and (2) continuing slow LOHS due to the chemical species cascade throughout the plant.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    StatePublished - Jul 2012

    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


    Dive into the research topics of 'Transient simulation of an endothermic chemical process facility coupled to a high temperature reactor: Model development and validation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this