Perspectives on understanding and verifying the safety terrain of modular high temperature gas-cooled reactors
Review articleOpen access

AbstractThe passive safety characteristics of modular high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) are conceptually well known and are largely supported by insights from past and ongoing research. This paper offers perspectives on selected issues in areas where further analysis and testing achievable within existing research and demonstration programs could help address residual uncertainties and better support the analysis of safety performance and the regulatory assessment of defense in depth. Areas considered include the evaluation of normal and anomalous core operating conditions and the analysis of accidents involving loss of forced cooling, coolant depressurization, air ingress, moisture ingress, and reactivity events. In addition to discussing associated uncertainties and potential measures to address them, this paper also proposes supplemental “safety terrain” studies that would use realistic assessments of postulated extreme event sequences to establish a more comprehensive understanding of the inherent behaviors and ultimate safety capabilities of modular HTGRs.

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