Experimental investigation of BWR Suppression Pool stratification during RCIC system operation Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • © 2016 Elsevier B.V. In Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) nuclear power plants with the Mark I containment, the condition of the Suppression Pool can be a large influence on overall plant safety. When the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling (RCIC) System is operating, steam from the reactor drives the RCIC turbine and is then exhausted to the Suppression Pool. When subcooled, the pool can readily condense the steam, warming it up in the process. However, if hot spots or thermal stratification appear, this can limit the Suppression Pool's ability to perform its safety functions, and can be a limiting factor for RCIC System operation. In order to better understand the RCIC system and its true limits of long-term operation, an experimental model of the system was constructed at the Laboratory for Nuclear Heat Transfer Systems at Texas A&M University (TAMU). These tests provide confirmation of thermal stratification in the Suppression Pool from RCIC System operations, and show a significant degree of dependence on pressure in the airspace above the pool. In the TAMU facility, vertical thermal stratification was limited to 21 °C when fully vented to atmospheric pressure, while pre-pressurization led to stratification well in excess of 60 °C.

author list (cited authors)

  • Solom, M., & Kirkland, K. V.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • December 2016