A test facility has been constructed at Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) to simulate as accurately as possible the ex-vessel core particle bed in the conditions of Olkiluoto nuclear power plant. The STYX particle bed reproduces the anticipated depth of the bed and the size range of particles having irregular shape. The bed is immersed in water, creating top flooding conditions, and internally heated by an array of electrical resistance heating elements. Dryout tests have been successfully conducted at 0.1–0.7 MPa pressure for both uniformly mixed and stratified bed geometries. In all tests, including the stratified ones, the dry zone first formed near the bottom of the bed. The measured dryout heat fluxes increased with increasing pressure, from 232 kW/m2 at near atmospheric pressure to 451 kW/m2 at 0.7 MPa pressure. The data show some scatter even for the uniform bed. The tests with the stratified bed indicate a clear reduction of critical power due to the presence of a layer of small particles on top of the uniform bed. Comparison of data with various critical power (dryout heat flux) correlations for porous media shows that the most important parameter in the models is the effective particle diameter. Adiabatic debris bed flow resistance measurements were conducted to determine the most representative particle diameter. This diameter is close, but not equal, to the particle number-weighted average diameter of the bed material. With it, uniform bed data can be calculated to within an accuracy of 3–28% using Lipinski's 0-D model. In the stratified bed experiments, it appears that the top layer was partially fluidized, hence the measured critical power was significantly higher than calculated. Future experiments are being planned with denser top layer material to eliminate non-prototypic fluidization.
- nuclear power plants
- light water reactor coolant
- light water reactors
- core debris
Lindholm, I., Holmström, S., Miettinen, J., Lestinen, V., Hyvärinen, J., Pankakoski, P., & Sjövall, H. (2006). Dryout heat flux experiments with deep heterogeneous particle bed. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 236(19-21), 2060-2074. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucengdes.2006.03.036