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Home / Publications / Journals / Nuclear Technology / Volume 148 / Number 3

The Thermal Hydraulics of Tube Support Fouling in Nuclear Steam Generators

Helena E. C. Rummens, J. T. Rogers, C. W. Turner

Nuclear Technology / Volume 148 / Number 3 / December 2004 / Pages 268-286

Technical Paper / Thermal Hydraulics

It is hypothesized that the thermal-hydraulic environment plays a role in the fouling of tube supports in nuclear steam generators. Experiments were performed to simulate the thermal-hydraulic environment near various designs of supports. Pressure loss, local velocity, turbulence intensity, and local void fraction were measured to characterize the effect of the support. Fouling mechanisms specific to supports were inferred from these experimental data and from actual steam generator inspection results. An analytical model was developed to predict the rate of particulate deposition on the supports, to better understand the complex processes involved.

This paper presents the following set of tools for assessing the fouling propensity of a given support design: (1) proposed fouling mechanisms, (2) criteria for support fouling propensity, (3) correlation of fouling with parameters such as mass flux and quality, (4) descriptions of experimental tools such as flow visualization and measurement of pressure-loss profiles, and (5) analytical tools.

An important conclusion from this and our previous work is that the fouling propensity is greater with broached support plates, both trefoil and quatrefoil, than with lattice bar supports and formed bar supports, in which significant cross flows occur.

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