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Sodium Plugging Test Loop at Argonne Liquid metal EXperiment (ALEX) facility

This experimental setup is part of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) Advanced Fuel Cycle R&D work carried out at Argonne on advanced sodium component technology.


For long range sodium technology research and development, employing supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle power conversion technology as an advanced balance of plant technology is being considered. The component that provides the interface between the sodium and supercritical CO2 is a compact heat exchanger known as a printed circuit heat exchanger (PCHE). This heat exchanger has very small coolant flow passages that may foul or plug depending upon sodium coolant conditions.


As shown schematically in the figure below, the apparatus consists of a main sodium loop including three test sections, a bypass sodium loop including a cold trap/economizer assembly, and an auxiliary system composed of Argon and vacuum lines. Both the main and bypass loops are constructed from ½- inch OD, 0.049-inch thick, type 316 stainless steel tubing. Other major components include three EM flow controllers (one each for the three test sections), two EM pumps (one for the main loop and one for the bypass loop), five EM flow meters, and expansion and dump tanks.

This apparatus is being used to investigate the possible plugging of narrow flow channels due to an impurity (e.g. oxides) present in the flowing sodium.

Sodium Plugging Test Loop Sodium Plugging Test Loop. Click on image to view larger image.

Last Modified: Tue, April 19, 2016 8:12 AM



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Engineering Development & Applications Dept.
Sodium Plugging Test Loop Facility
Contact Person: Y. Momozaki
Fax: +1 630-252-5287