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Research Papers

Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis for Asymmetric Power Generation in a Prismatic Fuel Block of Fluoride-Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Test Reactor

[+] Author and Article Information
Wen-Chi Cheng

Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139; Department of Engineering and System Science, National Tsing Hua University,
Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan

Kaichao Sun

Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139

Lin-Wen Hu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: LWHU@mit.edu

Ching-Chang Chieng

Professor Emeritus National Tsing Hua University,
Hsinchu, Taiwan;
Visiting Professor
Department of Mechanical
and Biomedical Engineering,
City University of Hong Kong,
Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received June 4, 2014; final manuscript received September 26, 2014; published online February 9, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Thomas Schulenberg.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 1(1), 011003 (Feb 09, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: NERS-14-1009; doi: 10.1115/1.4026391 History: Received June 04, 2014; Accepted November 14, 2014; Online February 09, 2015

The fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactor (FHR) is an advanced reactor concept that uses tristructural isotropic (TRISO) high-temperature fuel and low-pressure liquid salt coolant. A 20-MWth test reactor, as the key step in demonstrating the technical feasibility, is currently under design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This study focuses on the coupled conduction and convection heat transfer adopting a three-dimensional unit-cell model with one coolant channel and six one-third fuel compacts. The laminar, transitional, and turbulent flows are investigated with the use of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software, CD-adapco STARCCM+. The model is validated against theory for developing laminar flow in the benchmark study with excellent agreement. The model is also benchmarked for transitional and turbulent flows by Hausen, Gnielinski, Dittus-Boelter, and Sieder-Tate correlations. Azimuthal distributions of temperature, heat flux, and heat transfer coefficient along the coolant-graphite interface were obtained for the asymmetric heat source, graphite materials, and two different types of salt coolant. The results show that the asymmetric power generation has little impact on peak fuel temperature, interface temperature, and heat transfer coefficient for a unit-cell module in laminar flow regime due to effective thermal conduction of the graphite matrix. In the turbulent flow regime, the effect on the azimuthal heat flux and heat transfer coefficient is more pronounced.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

TRISO particle, fuel compact, and prismatic fuel element of an HTGR [7]

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Fig. 2

Nonirradiated thermal conductivity as a function of temperature [5]

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Fig. 3

A cross-sectional view of a FHTR prismatic fuel element

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Fig. 4

A hexagonal unit-cell module of prismatic block for FHTR

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Fig. 5

(a) Mesh distribution from the view A-A for Case C (laminar); (b) Mesh distribution from the view A-A for turbulent flow; (c) Mesh distribution from L1 plane for Case C; (d) Mesh distribution from L1 plane for turbulent flow

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Fig. 6

Benchmark study for laminar flow in the entrance region

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Fig. 7

Temperature distribution on the top plane of the unit-cell module for (a) zero (symmetric case), (b) one, (c) two, (d) three, (e) four, (f) five, and (g) six (symmetric case) power peaks with a factor of 2

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Fig. 8

Variation of maximum fuel temperature, maximum wall temperature, and bulk temperature by gradually increasing the individual heat source in a unit-cell module

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Fig. 9

Azimuthal heat flux distribution at the interface between coolant channel and graphite matrix

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Fig. 10

Azimuthal wall temperature distribution at the interface between coolant channel and graphite matrix

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Fig. 11

Azimuthal HTC distribution at the interface between coolant channel and graphite matrix

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Fig. 12

Variation of maximum fuel temperature, maximum wall temperature, and bulk temperature with asymmetric heat source by keeping the overall power generation constant in a unit-cell module

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Fig. 13

Temperature distribution on the top plane for (a) Scenario 1 (symmeric case), (b) Scenario 2, (c) Scenario 3 with IG110 graphite matrix; and (d) Scenario 1 (symmeric case), (e) Scenario 2, (f) Scenario 3 with H451 graphite matrix

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Fig. 14

Variation of maximum fuel temperature, maximum wall temperature, and bulk temperature with three different scenarios for flibe and NaF-ZrF4

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Fig. 15

(a) Comparison of the CFD results for flibe with Hausen, Gnielinski, Dittus-Boelter, and Sieder-Tate correlations for (a) 2300<Re<105 and (b) 2300<Re<104.

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Fig. 16

Comparison of azimuthal heat flux distibution for LiF-BeF2 and NaF-ZrF4 in laminar and turbulent flow

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Fig. 17

Comparison of azimuthal wall temperature around the coolant channel for LiF-BeF2 and NaF-ZrF4 in turbulent flow

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Fig. 18

Comparison of azimuthal heat transfer coefficient (HTC) around the coolant channel for LiF-BeF2 and NaF-ZrF4 in turbulent flow

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