Optimum Channel Inclination for Gas Venting Under Countercurrent Flow Limitations
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Countercurrent flow limitation (CCFL) in the pressurizer surge line of future Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) with passive safety systems is an important phenomenon in reactor safety analysis. The pressurizer surge line is typically comprised of several sections with various inclination angles. Under certain accident conditions, countercurrent flow takes place in the surge line with liquid flowing down from the pressurizer and steam flowing up from the hot leg. The steam venting rate as well as the liquid draining rate may affect the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS) actuation. The objective herein is to develop a physics-based model for evaluating the effect of inclination angle on CCFL. For a given liquid superficial velocity in the countercurrent flow system of the pressurizer surge line, the gas superficial velocity should be as large as possible at the onset of flooding, so that the steam can vent as fast as possible without inhibiting the pressurizer drain rate. Thus the system could depressurize in a timely manner to initiate the ECCS actuation. As indicated by CCFL experiments, for a given liquid superficial velocity, the gas superficial velocity attains a greatest value at a certain channel inclination, which is defined as the optimum channel inclination. In the present work, an analytical model is proposed to predict the optimum channel inclination under simplified conditions. The model predictions compare favorably with experimental data. Copyright © 2006 by ASME.
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