Validation and Application of 3D-Methods for the Design and Safety Analysis of High Temperature Reactors
NURETH-14 - 2011 September 25-30

Presented at:
2011 September 25-30
Toronto, Canada
Session Title:
G4-1 - Gas Cooled Fast Reactors and Very High Temperature Reactors; CFD Calculations

Johannes Bader (University of Stuttgart)
Janis Lapins (University of Stuttgart)
Michael Buck (University of Stuttgart)
Wolfgang Bernnat (University of Stuttgart)
Eckart Laurien (Institute for Nuclear Technology and Energy Systems (IKE))


            Some of the concepts for future nuclear reactors are high-temperature gas-cooled reactors. Previous simulation codes for their cores were often based on one- or two-dimensional models, but today’s increasing computer capabilities make an advance to 3D-codes possible now. Our thermal-hydraulic code ATTICA3D (Advanced Thermal-hydraulic Tool for In-vessel and Core Analysis in 3 Dimensions) is based on the porous media approach, including 3-D models of heat conduction and gas flow, using a coarse-grid integration method for the time-dependent conservation equations of  mass, momentum and energy.

Results of numerical calculations for various validation cases are presented: First, the test facility SANA is chosen, which has been used to study heat transfer phenomena inside a coolant-gas filled pebble-bed core, which was heated by embedded electrical heating elements. Calculations were carried out for different tests taken from the experimental database. Measured and calculated temperatures at different positions are compared and found in good agreement.

Second, our code was used to simulate a depressurized loss of forced cooling experiment with simulated decay heat in the AVR Experimental Reactor. Due to its design with the shut-down rods located inside columnar noses, which extend into the pebble bed of the core, geometry and power distribution are genuinely three-dimensional. The power distribution was calculated by the 3D-Neutronic Diffusion Code CITATION in conjunction with the spectral code MICROX-2. The neutronics and thermal-hydraulics calculations were carried out for a 3D, 45°-degree section of the reactor. It is demonstrated, that the experimental results could be qualitatively reproduced.

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