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Initial Assessment of Erosion/Abrasion Issues Related to Gas-Cooled Reactors

by Lianshan Lin, Cristian I Contescu, Nidia C Gallego
Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is investigating the graphite erosion concern detailed in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC), Section III, Division 5, “High Temperature Reactors.” The special consideration in Subsection HH, Subpart A (HHA)-3143, “Abrasion and Erosion,” was described in ASME BPVC Section III, Division 5, which was accepted with exception/limitation in a US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Technical Review. This report describes ORNL’s FY 2023 comprehensive research of erosion-related reports and publications to further study the proposed gas flow velocity limitation to the erosion effect in graphite structure in the ASME BPVC. This report also proposes that a nondimensional fluid parameter, the Reynolds number, might be a better alternative than gas flow velocity for comparing erosion effects caused by carbonaceous dust in fast-flowing helium coolant in gas-cooled reactors (GCRs).