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Home / Publications / Journals / Nuclear Technology / Volume 205 / Number 1-2

Rod Bundle Heat Transfer Thermal-Hydraulic Program

Stephen M. Bajorek, Fan-Bill Cheung

Nuclear Technology / Volume 205 / Number 1-2 / January-February 2019 / Pages 307-327

Technical Paper /

Received:April 30, 2018
Accepted:August 8, 2018
Published:December 12, 2018

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been conducting thermal-hydraulic research using the Rod Bundle Heat Transfer (RBHT) facility at the Pennsylvania State University since 2001. The facility has been used for five individual test programs: forced reflood, steam cooling, mixture level swell, dispersed droplet injection, and oscillatory reflood test series. While rod bundle thermal hydraulics has been extensively studied in the past, the RBHT data have provided new insights into rod bundle phenomena especially on the effects of spacer grids. This paper provides a summary of the RBHT test program and discusses some of the major findings from this research with the emphasis on reflood thermal hydraulics and the effect of spacer grids.

Of particular interest are data that enable model and correlation development. Recent efforts have focused on the evaluation of RBHT data and development of improved models and correlations suitable for systems thermal-hydraulic codes such as TRACE and RELAP. Because of detailed instrumentation on and about spacer grids, RBHT data have enabled improved models for convective heat transfer enhancement and droplet breakup. New correlations for the inverted annular and the inverted slug film boiling regimes have also been developed as an initial step toward an improved model for dispersed droplet film boiling.

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