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Numerical modeling of sodium fire – Part II: Pool combustion and combined spray and pool combustion

Nuclear Engineering and Design
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2014.05.037
  • Computer Science


Abstract The risk of sodium-air reaction has received considerable attention after the sodium-fire accident in Monju reactor. The fires resulting from the sodium-air reaction can be detrimental to the safety of a sodium fast reactor. Therefore, predicting the consequences of a sodium fire is important from a safety point of view. A computational method based on CFD is proposed here to simulate sodium pool fire and understand its characteristics. The method solves the Favre-averaged Navier-Stokes equation and uses a non-premixed mixture fraction based combustion model. The mass transfer of sodium vapor from the pool surface to the flame is obtained using a sodium evaporation model. The proposed method is then validated against well-known sodium pool experiments of Newman and Payne. The flame temperature and location predicted by the model are in good agreement with experiments. Furthermore, the trends of the mean burning rate with initial pool temperature and oxygen concentration are captured well. Additionally, parametric studies have been performed to understand the effects of pool diameter and initial air temperature on the mean burning rate. Furthermore, the sodium spray and sodium pool combustion models are combined to simulate simultaneous spray and pool combustion. Simulations were performed to demonstrate that the combined code could be applied to simulate this. Once sufficiently validated, the present code can be used for safety evaluation of a sodium fast reactor.

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