Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


FHRs — The Next Generation in Power Reactors?


Dr. David Holcomb


Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room Boggs 3-47


Bojan Petrovic


Fluoride salt-cooled high temperature reactors (FHRs), are a new class of thermal-spectrum nuclear reactors defined by their use of liquid fluoride salt coolants, together with tri-isotropic (TRISO) coated particle graphite fuels. FHRs operate with primary system pressures near atmospheric pressure, and with coolant temperatures ranging from 600 ºC to perhaps 950 ºC. FHRs combine and leverage technologies and system architectures original developed for molten salt-cooled reactors, gas-cooled reactors, and liquid metal-cooled reactors to provide capabilities not otherwise attainable with traditional reactor concepts. This seminar provides an overview of the FHR reactor concept, current design variants, and the challenges remaining to achieve a first-of-a-kind reactor.


Dr. Holcomb is member of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division. He serves as the Department of Energy’s technical lead for FHRs as well as leading ORNL’s FHR technology development efforts. Dr. Holcomb also is the U.S. representative to the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) molten salt reactor technical steering committee. Dr. Holcomb received his MS and PhD degrees in nuclear engineering from The Ohio State University (OSU) in 1990 and 1992 respectively and currently serves on the OSU nuclear engineering graduate program advisory board. Dr. Holcomb has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Tennessee since 1995. Dr. Holcomb is also a past chair of the American Nuclear Society’s Human Factors, Instrumentation, and Controls Division.