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Experimental Study on Flow Optimization in Upper Plenum of Reactor Vessel for a Compact Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor

Nobuyuki Kimura, Kenji Hayashi, Hideki Kamide, Masami Itoh, Tadashi Sekine

Nuclear Technology / Volume 152 / Number 2 / November 2005 / Pages 210-222

Technical Paper / Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics /

An innovative sodium-cooled fast reactor has been investigated in a feasibility study of fast breeder reactor cycle systems in Japan. A compact reactor vessel and a column-type upper inner structure with a radial slit for an arm of a fuel-handling machine (FHM) are adopted. Dipped plates are set in the reactor vessel below the free surface to prevent gas entrainment. We performed a one-tenth-scaled model water experiment for the upper plenum of the reactor vessel. Gas entrainment was not observed in the experiment under the same velocity condition as the reactor. Three vortex cavitations were observed near the hot-leg inlet. A vertical rib on the reactor vessel wall was set to restrict the rotating flow near the hot leg. The vortex cavitation between the reactor vessel wall and the hot leg was suppressed by the rib under the same cavitation factor condition as in the reactor. The cylindrical plug was installed through the hole in the dipped plates for the FHM to reduce the flow toward the free surface. It was effective when the plug was submerged into the middle height in the upper plenum. This combination of two components had a possibility to optimize the flow in the compact reactor vessel.

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