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CFD investigation of flow inversion in typical MTR research reactor undergoing thermal–hydraulic transients

Annals of Nuclear Energy
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.anucene.2011.03.005
  • Cfd
  • Thermal–Hydraulics
  • Mtr Reactors


Abstract Three dimensional CFD full simulations of the fast loss of flow accident (FLOFA) of the IAEA 10 MW generic MTR research reactor are conducted. In this system the flow is initially downward. The transient scenario starts when the pump coasts down exponentially with a time constant of 1 s. As a result the temperatures of the heating element, the clad, and the coolant rise. When the flow reaches 85% of its nominal value the control rod system scrams and the power drops sharply resulting in the temperatures of the different components to drop. As the coolant flow continues to drop, the decay heat causes the temperatures to increase at a slower rate in the beginning. When the flow becomes laminar, the rate of temperature increase becomes larger and when the pumps completely stop a flow inversion occurs because of natural convection. The temperature will continue to rise at even higher rates until natural convection is established, that is when the temperatures settle off. The interesting 3D patterns of the flow during the inversion process are shown and investigated. The temperature history is also reported and is compared with those estimated by one-dimensional codes. Generally, very good agreement is achieved which provides confidence in the modeling approach.

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