Experimental study of the coupled thermo-hydraulic-neutronic stability of a natural circulation HPLWR. T'Joen, C. & Rohde, M. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 242:221-232, 2012.
abstract   bibtex   
The HPLWR (high performance light water reactor) is the European concept design for a SCWR (supercritical water reactor). This unique reactor design consists of a three pass core with intermediate mixing plena. As the supercritical water passes through the core, it experiences a significant density reduction. This large change in density could be used as the driving force for natural circulation of the coolant, adding an inherent safety feature to this concept design. The idea of natural circulation has been explored in the past for boiling water reactors (BWR). From those studies, it is known that the different feedback mechanisms can trigger flow instabilities. These can be purely thermo-hydraulic (driven by the friction - mass flow rate or gravity - mass flow rate feedback of the system), or they can be coupled thermo-hydraulic-neutronic (driven by the coupling between friction, mass flow rate and power production). The goal of this study is to explore the stability of a natural circulation HPLWR considering the thermo-hydraulic-neutronic feedback. This was done through a unique experimental facility, DeLight, which is a scaled model of the HPLWR using Freon R23 as a scaling fluid. An artificial neutronic feedback was incorporated into the system based on the average measured density. To model the heat transfer dynamics in the rods, a simple first order model was used with a fixed time constant of 6 s. The results include the measurements of the varying decay ratio (DR) and frequency over a wide range of operating conditions. A clear instability zone was found within the stability plane, which seems to be similar to that of a BWR. Experimental data on the stability of a supercritical loop is rare in open literature, and these data could serve as an important benchmark tool for existing codes and models. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
@article{
 title = {Experimental study of the coupled thermo-hydraulic-neutronic stability of a natural circulation HPLWR},
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 year = {2012},
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 pages = {221-232},
 volume = {242},
 city = {Delft Univ Technol, Dept Radiat Radionuclides & Reactors, NL-2629 JB Delft, Netherlands Univ Ghent, Dept Flow Heat & Combust Mech, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium},
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 abstract = {The HPLWR (high performance light water reactor) is the European concept design for a SCWR (supercritical water reactor). This unique reactor design consists of a three pass core with intermediate mixing plena. As the supercritical water passes through the core, it experiences a significant density reduction. This large change in density could be used as the driving force for natural circulation of the coolant, adding an inherent safety feature to this concept design. The idea of natural circulation has been explored in the past for boiling water reactors (BWR). From those studies, it is known that the different feedback mechanisms can trigger flow instabilities. These can be purely thermo-hydraulic (driven by the friction - mass flow rate or gravity - mass flow rate feedback of the system), or they can be coupled thermo-hydraulic-neutronic (driven by the coupling between friction, mass flow rate and power production). The goal of this study is to explore the stability of a natural circulation HPLWR considering the thermo-hydraulic-neutronic feedback. This was done through a unique experimental facility, DeLight, which is a scaled model of the HPLWR using Freon R23 as a scaling fluid. An artificial neutronic feedback was incorporated into the system based on the average measured density. To model the heat transfer dynamics in the rods, a simple first order model was used with a fixed time constant of 6 s. The results include the measurements of the varying decay ratio (DR) and frequency over a wide range of operating conditions. A clear instability zone was found within the stability plane, which seems to be similar to that of a BWR. Experimental data on the stability of a supercritical loop is rare in open literature, and these data could serve as an important benchmark tool for existing codes and models. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
 bibtype = {article},
 author = {T'Joen, C. and Rohde, M.},
 journal = {Nuclear Engineering and Design}
}

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