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Chen receives NRC grant for molten salt spill experimental database project

March 7, 2023 - by Kim Delker

Minghui Chen, an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, is the recipient of a Research and Development Grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The $500,000 project is titled “Molten Salt Spill Experiments for Validating NRC Tools in Support of Molten Salt Reactor Source Term and Accident Analyses.”

The focus of the research is to develop a molten salt spill experimental database for validating NRC computational tools for fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactor/molten salt reactor mechanistic source term and accident analyses. This will be accomplished by carrying out molten salt spill experiments on a reduced-scale test facility under prototypic temperature conditions and generating experimental data to analyze the unknown processes occur during or after molten salt spill accident scenarios.

The project objectives will be to experimentally investigate the thermal-mechanical behavior of molten salt freezing and remelting experiments; experimentally investigate the thermal-hydraulic performance under molten salt spill accidents and generate data needed to validate numerical models of NRC tools; and numerically model the spreading and splashing of molten salts on a steel plate. The existing correlations for molten salt flow and heat transfer will be examined and improved, and/or new correlations will be developed, if necessary.