Transient Heat Transfer in an Out-of-Pile SCWR Fuel Assembly Test at Near-Critical Pressure

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas Schulenberg

ASME Member Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen Germany

Hongbo Li

China Nuclear Power Technology Research Institute Co., Ltd Shenzhen China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038061 History: Received April 03, 2017; Revised September 16, 2017


While supercritical water is a perfect coolant with excellent heat transfer, a temporary decrease of the system pressure to sub-critical conditions, either during intended transients or by accident, can easily cause a boiling crisis with significantly higher cladding temperatures of the fuel assemblies. These conditions have been tested in an out-of-pile experiment with a bundle of 4 heated rods in the SWAMUP facility co-constructed by CGNPC and SJTU in China. Some of the transient tests have been simulated with a one-dimensional MATLAB code, assuming quasi-steady state flow conditions, but time dependent temperatures in the fuel rods. Heat transfer at supercritical and at near-critical conditions was modelled with a recent look-up table of Zahlan (2015), and sub-critical film boiling was modelled with the look-up table of Groenveld et al. (2003). Moreover, a conduction controlled rewetting process was included in the analyses, which is based on an analytical solution of Schulenberg and Raqué (2014). The method could well reproduce the boiling crisis during depressurization from supercritical to subcritical pressure, including rewetting of the hot zone within some minutes, but the peak temperature was somewhat under-predicted. Tests with a lower heat flux, which did not cause such phenomena, could be predicted as well. In another test with increasing pressure, however, a boiling crisis was also observed at a heat flux, which was significantly lower than the critical heat flux predicted by the CHF look-up table of Groeneveld et al. (2006).

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