Experimental Study on Heat Transfer Behaviour from Calandria Vessel to Calandria Vault Water during Severe Accident in Indian PHWRs with Decay Heat Simulation for Prolonged Duration

[+] Author and Article Information
Sumit Vishnu Prasad

Reactor Engineering Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, INDIA-400085

Arun Nayak

Reactor Engineering Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, INDIA-400085

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039636 History: Received June 29, 2017; Revised March 13, 2018


The present experimental investigation in a scaled facility of an Indian PHWR is focused on the heat transfer behaviour from the calandria vessel to the calandria vault during a prolonged severe accident condition in presence of decay heat. The transient heat transfer simulates the conditions from single phase to boiling in the calandria vault water, partial uncovery of the calandria vessel due to boil off of water in the vault, refill of calandria vault. Molten borosilicate glass was used as the simulant due to its comparable heat transfer characteristics similar to prototypic material. About 60 kg of the molten material was poured into the test section at about 1100°C. Decay heat in the melt pool was simulated by using high watt cartridge type's heaters. The temperature distributions inside the molten pool, across the calandria vessel wall thickness and vault water were measured for prolonged period which can be divided into various phases viz. Single phase natural convection heat transfer in calandria vault, boiling heat transfer in calandria vault, partial uncovery of calandria vessel and refilling calandria vault. Experimental results showed that the once the crust formed, the inner vessel temperature remained very low and vessel integrity maintained. Even boiling of calandria vault water and uncovery of calandria vessel had negligible effect on melt, calandria vessel and vault water temperature. The heat transfer coefficients on outer vessel surface were obtained and compared with various conditions.

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