Prediction and simulations of cold trap loading for lead oxide trapping in LBE cooled systems

SCK•CEN Mentor

Gladinez Kristof,, +32 (0)14 33 80 12

Expert group

Conditioning and Chemistry Programme

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Rosseel Kris , , +32 (0)14 33 80 05


The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) is a pioneer with the development of the first research Accelerator Driven System (ADS) worldwide, termed MYRRHA. A unique feature of MYRRHA is the use of liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) as the primary coolant. LBE has many technical and safety advantages. However, it is well known that accurate control of LBE chemistry is a key issue for the design of reliable LBE cooled systems. Oxygen control in LBE is an important topic as this directly relates to coolant quality and purity. Cold trapping of solid impurities is a well-known strategy for Sodium Fast Reactors (SFR) to control dissolved oxygen and hydrogen content. Up to now this option has not been explored for LBE cooled systems. To this extend, a cold trap for PbO retention in LBE is being developed at SCK•CEN.


The objective of this topic is to perform numerical CFD calculations in order to simulate cold trap loading for LBE systems capable of capturing PbO precipitates. To achieve this, the following steps need to be undertaken:

  • Calculate the hydraulic charateristics of the current cold trap design

  • Taking into account external cooling of the cold trap, the temperature profile of the LBE needs to be calculated in function of LBE inlet conditions

  • Based on the obtained temperature field, the formation of lead oxide and the subsequent retention should be predicted

  • The effect of cold trap loading on the hydraulic performance should be assessed

The conclusions of this study will directly be implemented as an optimization of the cold trap design used in the LBE loops at SCK•CEN.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Academic bachelor

The candidate needs to have a background in

Chemistry , Mathematics

Estimated duration

6 weeks