The supercritical CO2 Heat Removal System

Supercritical CO2 heat removal system

The supercritical CO2 heat removal system “sCO2-HeRo” safely, reliably and efficiently transfers the decay heat from the reactor core to an ultimate heat sink without any external power sources like emergency diesel generators or batteries. Since this system is powered by the decay heat itself, in case of a station blackout and loss of ultimate heat sink accident scenario in a nuclear power plant, it can be considered as an excellent backup cooling system for the reactor core. Because of that, the sCO2-HeRo system can be seen as an innovative reactor safety concept as it improves the safety of BWRs (Boiling Water Reactors) and PWRs (Pressurized Water Reactors) through a self-propellant, self-sustaining and self-launching, highly compact Brayton-cycle cooling system using supercritical carbon dioxide as working fluid.

This system provides breakthrough options with scientific and practical maturity, which will be finally demonstrated and experimentally proven by practical reactor simulation studies in the unique glass model of the Gesellschaft für Simulatorschulung GfS, accompanied by simulation studies with the German thermal-hydraulic system code ATHLET.

The objective of the project is to show the feasibility of the sCO2-HeRo system in a scaled down demonstrator, which will be installed into the pressurized water reactor glass model (step towards technology readiness level 3 (TRL3)). Therefore, all components must be designed, manufactured, experimentally investigated and installed into the glass model. These are a compact heat exchanger (CHX), which connects the steam side of the glass model with the sCO2-HeRo cycle, a turbo-compressor system with integrated generator and a sink heat exchanger, which transfers the heat from the sCO2-HeRo cycle to the ultimate heat sink, the ambient air.

The experimental investigation on the heat transfer capacity in the compact heat exchanger will be done in the supercritical CO2 test loop SCARLETT at IKE University of Stuttgart. The sink heat exchanger, purchased by colleagues from Prague, as well as the turbo-compressor machine set, designed and manufactured by University of Duisburg/Essen, will be tested in the CO2 SUSEN loop at CV Rez.

The sCO2-HeRo project was funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program.

Sponsered by: Europäische Union (Horizon 2020), Förderkennzeichen: 662116

Duration period: September 2015 - August 2018


This image shows Jörg Starflinger

Jörg Starflinger

Prof. Dr.-Ing.

Executive Director

To the top of the page