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Review of molten salt reactor off-gas management considerations...

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Nuclear Engineering and Design
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Molten salt reactors offer a wide range of potential benefits but pose some unique challenges, particularly for designs that use an unclad liquid salt fuel. This type of fuel will result in the transport of fission gases into the headspace of the reactor where in some designs a cover gas can be circulated to remove certain fission products and maintain an inert atmosphere. The cover gas leaving the reactor core is expected to contain both noble and non-noble gases, aerosols, volatile species, tritium, radionuclides, and their daughters. To remove these radioactive gases, it is necessary to develop a robust off-gas system for molten salt–fueled reactors. Various treatment systems must be staged in series to remove the off-gas constituents from the stream before recirculating the gas back to the headspace of the reactor. Treatment options vary greatly depending on what they are designed to remove from the gas stream. This paper reviews the anticipated composition of a typical molten salt reactor off-gas stream and subsequently the available resources that could be employed to remove these species from the gas stream. An example off-gas system is then detailed, along with important design considerations, exemplifying the necessity for high-fidelity modeling. Lastly, the need for further thermophysical property research and the employment of advanced sensor technology for treatment component testing are discussed.