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Title: Validation of RELAP-7 for Forced Convective and Natural Circulation Reactor Flows

Abstract

New reactor designs such as small modular reactors and newly proposed passive safety systems rely on natural circulation two-phase flow cooling of the reactor core under accident conditions. Without a pump to drive the flow, the circulation rate is a strong function of void fraction. Under these conditions where the flow rate, pressure drop, and heat transfer are all closely coupled through the mixture density, the accurate prediction of void fraction is pivotal. Furthermore, while these passive systems boast a more reliable cooling option, the sensitivity of the system to two-phase flow instabilities is more likely than in forced convective cooling and can result in dangerous density wave or flow excursion conditions. Improvement of one-dimensional system codes and further development of three-dimensional code capability are all important efforts in addressing these issues. The proposed work is a critical step towards providing confidence through validation of the capability of thermal-hydraulic tools to meet the emerging challenges in reactor simulation. Historically, system analysis codes develop a stiffness over time due to fine-tuning of adjustable code parameters that result in a reluctance or inability to adopt improved models. Therefore, a rigorous effort should be invested in preparation for RELAP-7 to identify required modelingmore » improvements of constitutive relations and validation of the code applicability to the wide range of possible reactor flow conditions. Part of this validation involves the uncertainty quantification which is a critical step in the Code Scaling, Applicability, and Uncertainty (CSAU) methodology and Best-Estimate Plus Uncertainty (BEPU) licensing method. BEPU allows recovery of safety margins and potentially optimizing plant performance, resulting in economic benefit for the reactor operators. Beginning with the collection of past experimental data covering prototypic LWR conditions, this document reviews three critical datasets available for the validation of system codes. The experimental methods, procedures, facilities, instrumentation, and supplementary information are consolidated to aid the validation efforts of this work and future projects. These three datasets (824 conditions) are chosen due to their wide acceptance and demonstrated application for code validation. Two experimental datasets from the Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) span prototypic conditions of Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR). These datasets are labeled as the BFBT (BWR Full-size Fine-mesh Bundle Test) and the PSBT (PWR Subchannel and Bundle Test) datasets respectively. The third dataset is taken in an internally heated annulus that is scaled based on a BWR subassembly and includes two-phase flows important to post-blowdown analysis. Together, the datasets consider the full range of pressure and mass flux expected in LWR forced convective flows from steady-state to long term cooling conditions. Recognizing the deficiency of available data under low-pressure, low-flow, a new natural circulation dataset consisting of 107 conditions is obtained. With system pressures ranging between 145 and 950 kPa, natural circulation is driven by a heat flux up to 275 kW/m2 in a 3 m long heated region of the annulus test section which is followed by a 2 m long unheated region before entering a condenser. Stable natural circulation flow rates in this facility were measured to be between 182 and 590 kg/m2-s. Pressure and temperature are measured at ten locations in the facility. In addition, measurements of void fraction, interfacial area concentration, and gas velocity are obtained at five axial locations in the annulus test section. The RELAP5-3D code demonstrates good accuracy for void fraction predictions in BFBT and PSBT benchmarks, but shows relatively large discrepancy in the annulus experiments at lower pressures. In two-phase natural circulation, large oscillations are observed in many system parameters during the simulation of 19 experiment cases which were conducted at low pressures, and the model shows good predictive performance with the remaining 88 experiment cases. However, some discrepancies in void fraction and temperature predictions are found which may require improved constitutive modeling under these low-pressure, low-flow condition. The quantified uncertainty in void fraction predictions in three forced convection benchmarks due to uncertainties in boundary conditions and geometries are relatively small, except for a few cases in the annulus experiment. The output uncertainty of the natural circulation model is quantified by considering the measurement error in boundary conditions, and it is shown that the output uncertainty ranges are relatively small for the range of conditions considered. Through this work, a clear pathway is provided for validation of RELAP7 once the code is available.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];
  1. Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (United States)
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1592405
Report Number(s):
Final Report-DOE-ILLINOIS-0008573
DOE-16-10630
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008573
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Brooks, Caleb S, Kozlowski, Tomasz, Ooi, Zhiee Jhai, Borowiec, Katarzyna, Wang, Chen, Kumar, Vineet, Zou, Ling, Zhang, Hongbin, and Golchert, Brian M. Validation of RELAP-7 for Forced Convective and Natural Circulation Reactor Flows. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1592405.
Brooks, Caleb S, Kozlowski, Tomasz, Ooi, Zhiee Jhai, Borowiec, Katarzyna, Wang, Chen, Kumar, Vineet, Zou, Ling, Zhang, Hongbin, & Golchert, Brian M. Validation of RELAP-7 for Forced Convective and Natural Circulation Reactor Flows. United States. doi:10.2172/1592405.
Brooks, Caleb S, Kozlowski, Tomasz, Ooi, Zhiee Jhai, Borowiec, Katarzyna, Wang, Chen, Kumar, Vineet, Zou, Ling, Zhang, Hongbin, and Golchert, Brian M. Fri . "Validation of RELAP-7 for Forced Convective and Natural Circulation Reactor Flows". United States. doi:10.2172/1592405. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1592405.
@article{osti_1592405,
title = {Validation of RELAP-7 for Forced Convective and Natural Circulation Reactor Flows},
author = {Brooks, Caleb S and Kozlowski, Tomasz and Ooi, Zhiee Jhai and Borowiec, Katarzyna and Wang, Chen and Kumar, Vineet and Zou, Ling and Zhang, Hongbin and Golchert, Brian M},
abstractNote = {New reactor designs such as small modular reactors and newly proposed passive safety systems rely on natural circulation two-phase flow cooling of the reactor core under accident conditions. Without a pump to drive the flow, the circulation rate is a strong function of void fraction. Under these conditions where the flow rate, pressure drop, and heat transfer are all closely coupled through the mixture density, the accurate prediction of void fraction is pivotal. Furthermore, while these passive systems boast a more reliable cooling option, the sensitivity of the system to two-phase flow instabilities is more likely than in forced convective cooling and can result in dangerous density wave or flow excursion conditions. Improvement of one-dimensional system codes and further development of three-dimensional code capability are all important efforts in addressing these issues. The proposed work is a critical step towards providing confidence through validation of the capability of thermal-hydraulic tools to meet the emerging challenges in reactor simulation. Historically, system analysis codes develop a stiffness over time due to fine-tuning of adjustable code parameters that result in a reluctance or inability to adopt improved models. Therefore, a rigorous effort should be invested in preparation for RELAP-7 to identify required modeling improvements of constitutive relations and validation of the code applicability to the wide range of possible reactor flow conditions. Part of this validation involves the uncertainty quantification which is a critical step in the Code Scaling, Applicability, and Uncertainty (CSAU) methodology and Best-Estimate Plus Uncertainty (BEPU) licensing method. BEPU allows recovery of safety margins and potentially optimizing plant performance, resulting in economic benefit for the reactor operators. Beginning with the collection of past experimental data covering prototypic LWR conditions, this document reviews three critical datasets available for the validation of system codes. The experimental methods, procedures, facilities, instrumentation, and supplementary information are consolidated to aid the validation efforts of this work and future projects. These three datasets (824 conditions) are chosen due to their wide acceptance and demonstrated application for code validation. Two experimental datasets from the Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) span prototypic conditions of Boiling Water Reactors (BWR) and Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR). These datasets are labeled as the BFBT (BWR Full-size Fine-mesh Bundle Test) and the PSBT (PWR Subchannel and Bundle Test) datasets respectively. The third dataset is taken in an internally heated annulus that is scaled based on a BWR subassembly and includes two-phase flows important to post-blowdown analysis. Together, the datasets consider the full range of pressure and mass flux expected in LWR forced convective flows from steady-state to long term cooling conditions. Recognizing the deficiency of available data under low-pressure, low-flow, a new natural circulation dataset consisting of 107 conditions is obtained. With system pressures ranging between 145 and 950 kPa, natural circulation is driven by a heat flux up to 275 kW/m2 in a 3 m long heated region of the annulus test section which is followed by a 2 m long unheated region before entering a condenser. Stable natural circulation flow rates in this facility were measured to be between 182 and 590 kg/m2-s. Pressure and temperature are measured at ten locations in the facility. In addition, measurements of void fraction, interfacial area concentration, and gas velocity are obtained at five axial locations in the annulus test section. The RELAP5-3D code demonstrates good accuracy for void fraction predictions in BFBT and PSBT benchmarks, but shows relatively large discrepancy in the annulus experiments at lower pressures. In two-phase natural circulation, large oscillations are observed in many system parameters during the simulation of 19 experiment cases which were conducted at low pressures, and the model shows good predictive performance with the remaining 88 experiment cases. However, some discrepancies in void fraction and temperature predictions are found which may require improved constitutive modeling under these low-pressure, low-flow condition. The quantified uncertainty in void fraction predictions in three forced convection benchmarks due to uncertainties in boundary conditions and geometries are relatively small, except for a few cases in the annulus experiment. The output uncertainty of the natural circulation model is quantified by considering the measurement error in boundary conditions, and it is shown that the output uncertainty ranges are relatively small for the range of conditions considered. Through this work, a clear pathway is provided for validation of RELAP7 once the code is available.},
doi = {10.2172/1592405},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {12}
}