Mechanistic Modeling of Critical Heat Flux on a CANDU Calandria Tube Following Pressure Tube Contact
NURETH-14 - 2011 September 25-30

Presented at:
2011 September 25-30
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
B1-3 Computational Fluid Dynamics, Mathematical Modeling and Verification/Validation/Applications

Azin Behdadi (McMaster University)
John Luxat (McMaster University)


Heavy water moderator surrounding each fuel channel is one of the important features in CANDU reactors that act as a heat sink for the fuel in the situations where other means of heat removal fail. In the critical break LOCA scenario, fuel cooling becomes severely degraded due to rapid flow reduction in the affected flow pass of the heat transport system. This can result in pressure tubes experiencing significant heat-up while coolant pressure is still high, thereby causing uniform thermal creep strain (ballooning) of the pressure tube (PT) into contact with its calandria tube (CT). The contact of the hot PT with the CT causes rapid redistribution of stored heat from the PT to CT and a large spike in heat flux from the CT to the moderator fluid. For lower subcooling conditions of the moderator, this heat flux spike can cause dryout of the CT. This can detrimentally affect channel integrity if the CT post-dryout temperature becomes sufficiently high to result in thermal creep strain deformation. The focus of this research is to develop a mechanistic model to predict Critical Heat Flux (CHF) on the CT surface following a contact with its pressure tube. A COMSOL multi-physics model using a two-dimensional transient fluid-thermal analysis of the CT surface undergoing heat up is used to predict flow and temperature profile on the CT surface. A mechanistic CHF model is to be proposed based on a concept of wall dry patch formation, prevention of rewetting and subsequent dry patch spreading.

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