Countercurrent Flow Limitation Experiments and Modeling for Improved Reactor Safety
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This project is investigating countercurrent flow and “flooding” phenomena in light water reactor systems to improve reactor safety of current and future reactors. To better understand the occurrence of flooding in the surge line geometry of a PWR, two experimental programs were performed. In the first, a test facility with an acrylic test section provided visual data on flooding for air-water systems in large diameter tubes. This test section also allowed for development of techniques to form an annular liquid film along the inner surface of the “surge line” and other techniques which would be difficult to verify in an opaque test section. Based on experiences in the air-water testing and the improved understanding of flooding phenomena, two series of tests were conducted in a large-diameter, stainless steel test section. Air-water test results and steam-water test results were directly compared to note the effect of condensation. Results indicate that, as for smaller diameter tubes, the flooding phenomena is predominantly driven by the hydrodynamics. Tests with the test sections inclined were attempted but the annular film was easily disrupted. A theoretical model for steam venting from inclined tubes is proposed herein and validated against air-water data. Empirical correlations were proposed for air-water and steam-water data. Methods for developing analytical models of the air-water and steam-water systems are discussed, as is the applicability of the current data to the surge line conditions. This report documents the project results from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008.
author list (cited authors)
Vierow, K., Choutapalli, I., Hogan, K., Liao, Y., Solmos, M., & Williams, S. N.