Experimental and Numerical Simulation of Boron Transport in a Nuclear Reactor Vessel
The Westinghouse AP600 reactor design uses a gravity -forced safety injection system with nozzles in the vessel downcomer. In the event of overcooling transients, this system delivers soluble boron to the core to offset moderator defect reactivity. To evaluate the outcome of a design basis overcooling event, a tool to predict the transport of boron to the core was required. A hybrid computational fluid dynamic/fluid element tracking model was developed for this task. In this technique, the loop and safety injection flow was determined by the 1-D system code LOFTRAN. From these boundary conditions, the reactor vessel steady-state velocity field and k- varepsilon turbulence parameters were found using the 3-D computational fluid dynamics code FLOTRAN. These pointwise values were used to define the flow field characteristics in a fluid element tracking model. In this random walk model, the k-varepsilon values at a point were used to find a local turbulent diffusion time scale and a distribution of length scales. A distribution of molecular diffusion length scales were also generated. Fluid element motion was determined by combining the deterministic convective transport during a time interval with turbulent and molecular diffusion components chosen randomly from the distributions. The transient concentration distribution was determined from the time and position of the elements as they reached the core inlet. A scaling analysis of the reactor system showed that buoyancy and turbulent diffusion effects were of equal importance during overcooling transient conditions. A 1:9 scale model was constructed using air and dense gas to simulate the reactor coolant and safety injection fluid. Experiments were performed with velocities chosen to give Richardson and mixing Reynolds number scaling. Concentration of the dense gas was measured at the core inlet using a sonic nozzle/hot film anemometer instrument. The results of these experiments were used to validate the numerical model. Overall, the model was capable of predicting the experimental transient concentration distribution very well, with the exception of underprediction of the lower concentration values, for experiments with Richardson or mixing Reynolds scaling. With this validation, the model should be capable of predicting boron transport in the reactor.
- Pub Date:
- January 1995
- COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS;
- Engineering: Nuclear; Engineering: Mechanical; Physics: Fluid and Plasma