Experimental and Numerical Investigation of an Entrance Blockage of an Inner Channel in Dual-Cooled Annular Nuclear Fuel
NURETH-14 - 2011 September 25-30

Presented at:
2011 September 25-30
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
F2-1 CHF and Post CHF Heat Transfer, Flooding and CCFL

Chang Hwan Shin (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
Tae Hyun Chun (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
Dong Seok Oh (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)
Wang Ki In (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute)


A dual-cooled annular nuclear fuel for a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) has been introduced for a significant increase in reactor power. The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has been researching the development of a dual-cooled annular fuel for a power increase in an optimized PWR in Korea, OPR-1000. The main advantage of a dual-cooled annular fuel is an increased heat transfer area and a reduction in the fuel temperature, which would result in reduced fission gas release and increased fuel melting margin and Departure from Nucleate Boiling (DNB) margin.

The annular fuel rod is configured to allow the coolant flow through the inner channel as well as outer channel. Since the inner channel is isolated from the neighbor channels unlike the outer channels, an inner channel blockage is one of the principal technical issues of a dual-cooled annular fuel. Due to a partial blockage, the inner channel may be faced with a DNB accident.

A conceptual design used to complement the entrance blockage of an inner channel was suggested by KAERI. The through holes in this design are formed on a cylindrical wall of the lower end plug. When the inner channel is blocked by debris, coolant for the inner channel will be supplied through the side holes. But due to very unusual shape of the lower end plug, it is difficult to estimate the flow resistance of the side flow holes using empirical correlations available in the open literatures.

Experimental and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies were performed to investigate the bypass flow through the side holes of the lower end plug to complement the entrance blockage of an inner channel. The form loss coefficient in the side holes was also estimated by using the pressure drop along the bypass flow path and DNB Ratio (DNBR) margin was estimated by a subchannel analysis code.

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