Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 156 / Number 1 / May 2007 / Pages 40-54
In a nuclear reactor vessel downcomer incorporating the safety feature of direct vessel injection (DVI), the direct bypass of emergency core coolant (ECC) is activated during the reflood phase of a large-break loss-of-coolant accident due to momentum transfer between the downward liquid film and transverse gas. Direct ECC bypass is reportedly the major bypass mechanism of ECC, and various experiments have been performed to obtain detailed information about the ECC bypass in a DVI downcomer. In the present study, a model of the direct ECC bypass was developed based on two-dimensional two-fluid equations for the adiabatic two-phase flow to predict the ECC bypass flow rate. The direct ECC bypass fractions were calculated with various interfacial friction factor correlations, and the results were compared with the available experimental data. The values predicted by the current model showed reasonably good agreement with the experimental data at bypass fractions >40% when applying the interfacial friction factor model developed in a countercurrent flow condition. However, when the bypass fraction was <40%, models incorporating cocurrent annular flow provided better results than those with countercurrent flow. These results suggest that a transition occurs from a smooth film to a rough film as the gas flow rate increases, and hence, interfacial friction factor models that adequately incorporate this transition are necessary to predict the direct ECC bypass phenomenon.