Large eddy simulation for high temperature gas cooled reactors Conference Paper uri icon


  • A High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) is one of the renewed reactor designs to play a role in nuclear power generation. This reactor design concepts is currently under consideration and development worldwide. Since the HTGR concept offers inherent safety, has a very flexible fuel cycle with capability to achieve high burnup levels, and provides good thermal efficiency of power plant, it can be considered for further development and improvement as a reactor concept of generation IV. The combination of coated particle fuel, inert helium gas as coolant and graphite moderated reactor makes it possible to operate at high temperature yielding a high efficiency. In this study the simulation of turbulent transport for the gas through the gaps of the spherical fuel elements (fuel pebbles) will be performed. This will help in understanding the highly three-dimensional, complex flow phenomena in pebble bed caused by flow curvature. Under these conditions, heat transfer in both laminar and turbulent flows varies noticeably around curved surfaces. Curved flows would be present in the presence of contiguous curved surfaces. In the case of a laminar flow and of an appreciable effect of thermogravitional forces, the Nusselt (Nu) number depends significantly on the curvature shape of the surface. It changes with order of 10 times. The flow passages through the gap between the fuel balls have concave and convex configurations. Here the action of the centrifugal forces manifests itself differently on convex and concave parts of the flow path (suppression or stimulation of turbulence). The flow of this type has distinctive features. In such flow there is a pressure gradient, which strongly affects the boundary layer behavior. The transition from a laminar to turbulent flow around this curved flow occurs at different Reynolds (Re) numbers. Consequently, noncircular curved flows as in the pebble-bed situation, in detailed local sense, is interesting to be investigated. To the authors' knowledge there is no detailed complete calculations for this kind of reactor to address this local phenomena. This work is an attempt to evaluate and calculate this effect. The simulation of these local phenomena cannot be computed with existing conventional computational tools. Not all Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) methods are applicable to solve turbulence problems, in complex geometries. As in pebble bed reactor core, a compromise is needed between accuracy of results and time/cost of effort in acquiring the results. Resolving all the scales of a turbulent flow is too costly, while employing highly empirical turbulence models to complex problems could give inaccurate simulation results. The large eddy simulation (LES) method would achieve the above requirements. Here, the large scales in the flow are solved and the small scales are modeled. A schematic of the simulated core region used in the calculations is presented in Figure 1.1.

author list (cited authors)

  • Yesilyurt, G., & Hassan, Y. A.

publication date

  • January 2003