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Figure 1
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Figure 2
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Mechanical Engineering
Team 65

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Tim Lynch

Wilson Chiu


Department of Energy

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Molten salt reactors (MSRs) were one of the nuclear reactor designs proposed in the Generation IV International Forum for electrical power generation. MSRs have unique design and safety advantages over traditional water-cooled reactors. Because of these advantages, the Department of Energy (DOE) has taken an interest in MSR technology and research. Several research projects focused on molten salts have recently been funded by the DOE. The research is mostly focused on determining the chemical and physical properties of the molten salt & actinide mixtures at operationally relevant temperatures (800 – 1000 C). This project focuses on determining the efficacy of an experimental procedure for studying actinide containing salts using non-actinide model salts. To determine the properties of the model salts, we used synchrotron-based X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy. Using the entire extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) we determined the local structure properties of the molten salts at operationally relevant MSR temperatures. A custom BN tube and aluminum stand was designed to perform the experiment. The results of these experiments were written in a published journal paper. For our upcoming experiments this Summer involving actinide salts, an improved BN tube was designed to contain the samples.