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Apr 19 – 22, 2022
Vienna, Austria
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Apr 20, 2022, 3:16 PM
Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria

ORAL Track 5. Test Facilities and Experiments 5.1 Experimental Reactors and Facilities


Florent Heidet (Argonne National Laboratory)


The Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) is a reactor under development in the United States of America to provide a very high-flux fast neutron source that will support the development of advanced reactor technologies. This reactor will accelerate the irradiation testing of advanced nuclear fuels, materials, and potentially other components. The development efforts are structured in several phases to mature the design, and the conceptual design phase was recently completed. The VTR core design developed in this phase will be presented and discussed in this paper.

The conceptual design for the VTR is a 300 MWth pool-type sodium-cooled fast reactor. The core contains a total of 313 assemblies, 66 of which are fuel drivers, and 10 are representative test locations. Ternary metallic fuel is used in the driver fuel and allows achieving a peak fast flux of about 4.3x1015 n/cm2-s in the central test location, corresponding to material damage rate in excess of 50 dpa per year. This will be the highest fast flux level and material irradiation rate of any reactor, now existing or under-development. The irradiation conditions offer large irradiation volumes with very high flux levels, as well as experimental flexibility through the use of cartridge loops. Cartridge loop experiments allow using a self-contained coolant, different from the reactor coolant, to provide prototypical irradiation conditions pertaining to other types of advanced reactors. The reactor can accommodate simultaneous cartridge loop experiments in up to five locations. In addition, VTR has a rabbit facility that permits insertion and removal of irradiation samples during operation.

The VTR conceptual core has been designed relying on past US expertise and demonstrated technologies. It is able to achieve the above-mentioned flux level under nominal conditions while remaining within acceptable thermal-hydraulic conditions and retaining an extremely favorable passively safe behavior. Additional details, design characteristics and performance characteristics will be discussed in the full paper, providing a comprehensive overview of the VTR core.

Country/Int. organization United States of America
Speaker's title Mr
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Affiliation/Organization Argonne National Laboratory

Primary authors

Florent Heidet (Argonne National Laboratory) Tingzhou Fei (Argonne National Laboratory) Dr Mike Jarrett (Argonne National Laboratory) Dr Alisha Kasam-Griffith (Argonne National Laboratory)

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