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Nuclear Science and Engineering Division

SNAKE Sodium S-CO2 Interactions Experiment

A fluid mechanics/heat transfer facility examining supercritical-CO2 leakage into sodium to support advanced nuclear reactors and energy conversion systems

The supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO2) Brayton cycle, coupled with a sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), has been identified as a new and innovative energy conversion technology that could contribute to improving the economics of advanced nuclear energy. For these reactors, a new generation of compact, highly-efficient heat exchangers (HXs) will be employed that show great promise in improving the safety and cost of SFRs; however, small HX leaks could still occur. SNAKE is designed to study S-CO2 leakage into sodium.

Supercritical CO2 is shown bubbling into a pool of water through a tiny hole (63 microns; 0.002 inches diameter).

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