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Coolant mixing in pressurized water reactors

Forschungszentrum Dresden
Publication Date
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics


For the analysis of boron dilution transients and main steam line break scenarios the modelling of the coolant mixing inside the reactor vessel is important. The reactivity insertion due to overcooling or deboration depends strongly on the coolant temperature and boron concentration. The three-dimensional flow distribution in the downcomer and the lower plenum of PWR's was calculated with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code (CFX-4). Calculations were performed for the PWR's of SIEMENS KWU, Westinghouse and VVER-440 / V-230 type. The following important factors were identified: exact representation of the cold leg inlet region (bend radii etc.), extension of the downcomer below the inlet region at the PWR Konvoi, obstruction of the flow by the outlet nozzles penetrating the downcomer, etc. The k- turbulence model was used. Construction elements like perforated plates in the lower plenum have large influence on the velocity field. It is impossible to model all the orifi! ces in the perforated plates. A porous region model was used to simulate perforated plates and the core. The porous medium is added with additional body forces to simulate the pressure drop through perforated plates in the VVER-440. For the PWR Konvoi the whole core was modelled with porous media parameters. The velocity fields of the PWR Konvoi calculated for the case of operation of all four main circulation pumps show a good agreement with experimental results. The CFD-calculation especially confirms the back flow areas below the inlet nozzles. The downcomer flow of the Russian VVER-440 has no recirculation areas under normal operation conditions. By CFD calculations for the downcomer and the lower plenum an analytical mixing model used in the reactor dynamic code DYN3D was verified. The measurements, the analytical model and the CFD-calculations provided very well agreeing results particularly for the inlet region. The difficulties of analytical solutions and the uncertainties of turbulence models for the numerical solutions require additional experiments. Therefore a 1:5 scaled plexiglas model is under construction at RC Rossendorf. The model can be used variably for PWR's of KONVOI- and EPR- types including the primary loops. The measurements of the mixing effects will be performed with modern wire mesh sensors based on conductivity differences and LDA is used to measure the flow conditions.

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