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Dimensional Analysis of Small-Scale Steam Explosion Experiments

K. Huh, M. L. Corradini

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 93 / Number 1 / May 1983 / Pages 97-104


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Dimensional analysis is applied to Nelson's small-scale steam explosion experiments to determine the qualitative effect of each relevant parameter for triggering a steam explosion. According to experimental results, the liquid entrapment model seems to be a consistent explanation for the steam explosion triggering mechanism. The three-dimensional oscillatory wave motion of the vapor/liquid interface is analyzed to determine the necessary conditions for local condensation and production of a coolant microjet to be entrapped in fuel. It is proposed that different contact modes between fuel and coolant may involve different initiation mechanisms of steam explosions.

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