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Nuclear reactor I

Image Number 13 for United States Patent #4050986.

A nuclear reactor, particularly a liquid-metal breeder reactor whose upper internals include provision for channeling the liquid metal flowing from the core-component assemblies to the outlet plenum in vertical paths in direction generally along the direction of the respective assemblies. The metal is channeled by chimneys, each secured to, and extending from, a grid through whose openings the metal emitted by a plurality of core-component assemblies encompassed by the grid flows. To reduce the stresses resulting from structural interaction, or the transmissive of thermal strains due to large temperature differences in the liquid metal emitted from neighboring core-component assemblies, throughout the chimneys and the other components of the upper internals, the grids and the chimneys are supported from the heat plate and the core barrel by support columns (double portal support) which are secured to the head plate at the top and to a member, which supports the grids and is keyed to the core barrel, at the bottom.In addition to being restrained from lateral flow by the chimneys, the liquid metal is also restrained from flowing laterally by a peripheral seal around the top of the core. This seal limits the flow rate of liquid metal, which may be sharply cooled during a scram, to the outlet nozzles.The chimneys and the grids are formed of a highly-refractory, high corrosion-resistant nickel-chromium-iron alloy which can withstand the stresses produced by temperature differences in the liquid metal. The chimneys are supported by pairs of plates, each pair held together by hollow stubs coaxial with, and encircling, the chimneys. The plates and stubs are a welded structure but, in the interest of economy, are composed of stainless steel which is not weld compatible with the refractory metal. The chimneys and stubs are secured together by shells of another nickel-chromium-iron alloy which is weld compatible with, and is welded to, the stubs and has about the same coefficient of expansion as the highly-refractory, high corrosion-resistant alloy.

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