Study on heat transfer to supercritical water in application to SMRs
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The SuperSafe Reactor (SSR), a small modular reactor (SMR) concept with a supercritical water coolant, was subjected to a thermalhydraulic analysis and an economic analysis of its Levelized Unit of Energy Cost (LUEC). Heat transfer data was examined for the onset of deteriorated heat transfer using three correlations that relied on NIST REFPROP v.10 for thermophysical property values. The experimental inside-wall temperature and heat transfer coefficient profiles were stable while the selected correlations generated poor predictions. NIST REFPROP v.10 was investigated at the critical point of water and the program was discovered to generate non-physical results. G4ECONS calculated the SSR’s LUEC, and when compared to other nuclear technologies, the SSR was among the least economically competitive. The application of several economic factors unique to SMRs helped reduce the SSR’s LUEC and increase its economic value. Overall, the SSR would be a technologically viable SMR concept with potential long-term industry adoption.