Cold-neutron tomography of annular flow and functional spacer performance in a model of a boiling water reactor fuel rod bundle

Robert Zboray, John Kickhofel, Manuel Damsohn, Horst Michael Prasser

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    20 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Dryout of the coolant liquid film at the upper part of the fuel pins of a boiling water reactor (BWR) core constitutes the type of heat transfer crisis relevant for the conditions of high void fractions. It is both a safety concern and a limiting factor in the thermal power and thus for the economy of BWRs. We have investigated adiabatic, air-water annular flows in a scaled-up model of two neighboring subchannels as found in BWR fuel assemblies using cold-neutron tomography. The imaging of the double suchannel has been performed at the ICON beamline at the neutron spallation source SINQ at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland. Cold-neutron tomography is shown here to be an excellent tool for investigating air-water annular flows and the influence of functional spacers of different geometries on such flows. The high-resolution, high-contrast measurements provide the spatial distributions of the coolant liquid film thickness on the fuel pin surfaces as well as on the surfaces of the spacer vanes. The axial variations of the cross-section averaged liquid hold-up and its fraction in the gas core shows the effect of the spacers on the redistribution of the two phases.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3201-3215
    Number of pages15
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Volume241
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
    • Materials Science(all)
    • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Mechanical Engineering

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