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Title: Integral Reactor Containment Condensation Model and Experimental Validation

This NEUP funded project, NEUP 12-3630, is for experimental, numerical and analytical studies on high-pressure steam condensation phenomena in a steel containment vessel connected to a water cooling tank, carried out at Oregon State University (OrSU) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW-Madison). In the three years of investigation duration, following the original proposal, the planned tasks have been completed: (1) Performed a scaling study for the full pressure test facility applicable to the reference design for the condensation heat transfer process during design basis accidents (DBAs), modified the existing test facility to route the steady-state secondary steam flow into the high pressure containment for controllable condensation tests, and extended the operations at negative gage pressure conditions (OrSU). (2) Conducted a series of DBA and quasi-steady experiments using the full pressure test facility to provide a reliable high pressure condensation database (OrSU). (3) Analyzed experimental data and evaluated condensation model for the experimental conditions, and predicted the prototypic containment performance under accidental conditions (UW-Madison). A film flow model was developed for the scaling analysis, and the results suggest that the 1/3 scaled test facility covers large portion of laminar film flow, leading to a lower average heat transfer coefficientmore » comparing to the prototypic value. Although it is conservative in reactor safety analysis, the significant reduction of heat transfer coefficient (50%) could under estimate the prototypic condensation heat transfer rate, resulting in inaccurate prediction of the decay heat removal capability. Further investigation is thus needed to quantify the scaling distortion for safety analysis code validation. Experimental investigations were performed in the existing MASLWR test facility at OrST with minor modifications. A total of 13 containment condensation tests were conducted for pressure ranging from 4 to 21 bar with three different static inventories of non-condensable gas. Condensation and heat transfer rates were evaluated employing several methods, notably from measured temperature gradients in the HTP as well as measured condensate formation rates. A detailed mass and energy accounting was used to assess the various measurement methods and to support simplifying assumptions required for the analysis. Condensation heat fluxes and heat transfer coefficients are calculated and presented as a function of pressure to satisfy the objectives of this investigation. The major conclusions for those tests are summarized below: (1) In the steam blow-down tests, the initial condensation heat transfer process involves the heating-up of the containment heat transfer plate. An inverse heat conduction model was developed to capture the rapid transient transfer characteristics, and the analysis method is applicable to SMR safety analysis. (2) The average condensation heat transfer coefficients for different pressure conditions and non-condensable gas mass fractions were obtained from the integral test facility, through the measurements of the heat conduction rate across the containment heat transfer plate, and from the water condensation rates measurement based on the total energy balance equation. 15 (3) The test results using the measured HTP wall temperatures are considerably lower than popular condensation models would predict mainly due to the side wall conduction effects in the existing MASLWR integral test facility. The data revealed the detailed heat transfer characteristics of the model containment, important to the SMR safety analysis and the validation of associated evaluation model. However this approach, unlike separate effect tests, cannot isolate the condensation heat transfer coefficient over the containment wall, and therefore is not suitable for the assessment of the condensation heat transfer coefficient against system pressure and noncondensable gas mass fraction. (4) The average condensation heat transfer coefficients measured from the water condensation rates through energy balance analysis are appropriate, however, with considerable uncertainties due to the heat loss and temperature distribution on the containment wall. With the consideration of the side wall conduction effects, the results indicate that the measured heat transfer coefficients in the tests is about 20% lower than the prediction of Dehbi’s correlation, mainly due to the side wall conduction effects. The investigation also indicates an increase in the condensation heat transfer coefficient at high containment pressure conditions, but the uncertainties invoked with this method appear to be substantial. (5) Non-condensable gas in the tests has little effects on the condensation heat transfer at high elevation measurement ports. It does affect the bottom measurements near the water level position. The results suggest that the heavier non-condensable gas is accumulated in the lower portion of the containment due to stratification in the narrow containment space. The overall effects of the non-condensable gas on the heat transfer process should thus be negligible for tall containments of narrow condensation spaces in most SMR designs. Therefore, the previous correlations with noncondensable gas effects are not appropriate to those small SMR containments due to the very poor mixing of steam and non-condensable gas. The MELCOR simulation results agree with the experimental data reasonably well. However, it is observed that the MELCOR overpredicts the heat flux for all analyzed tests. The MELCOR predicts that the heat fluxes for CCT’s approximately range from 30 to 45 kW/m2 whereas the experimental data (averaged) ranges from about 25 to 40 kW/m2. This may be due to the limited availability of liquid film models included in MELCOR. Also, it is believed that due to complex test geometry, measured temperature gradients across the heat transfer plate may have been underestimated and thus the heat flux had been underestimated. The MELCOR model predicts a film thickness on the order of 100 microns, which agrees very well with film flow model developed in this study for scaling analysis. However, the expected differences in film thicknesses for near vacuum and near atmospheric test conditions are not significant. Further study on the behavior of condensate film is expected to refine the simulation results. Possible refinements include but are not limited to, the followings: CFD simulation focusing on the liquid film behavior and benchmarking with experimental analyses for simpler geometries. 16 1 INTRODUCTION This NEUP funded project, NEUP 12-3630, is for experimental, numerical and analytical studies on high-pressure steam condensation phenomena in a steel containment vessel connected to a water cooling tank, carried out at Oregon State University (OrSU) and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW-Madison). The experimental results are employed to validate the containment condensation model in reactor containment system safety analysis code for integral SMRs. Such a containment condensation model is important to demonstrate the adequate cooling. In the three years of investigation, following the original proposal, the following planned tasks have been completed: (1) Performed a scaling study for the full pressure test facility applicable to the reference design for the condensation heat transfer process during design basis accidents (DBAs), modified the existing test facility to route the steady-state secondary steam flow into the high pressure containment for controllable condensation tests, and extended the operations at negative gage pressure conditions (OrSU). (2) Conducted a series of DBA and quasi-steady experiments using the full pressure test facility to provide a reliable high pressure condensation database (OrSU). (3) Analyzed experimental data and evaluated condensation model for the experimental conditions, and predicted the prototypic containment performance under accidental conditions (UW-Madison). The results are applicable to integral Small Modular Reactor (SMR) designs, including NuScale, mPower, Westinghouse SMR, Holtec-160 and other integral reactors with small containments of relatively high pressures under accidental conditions. Testing has been conducted at the OrSU laboratory in the existing MASLWR (Multi-Application Small Light Water Reactor) integral test facility sponsored by the US Department of Energy. Its highpressure stainless steel containment model (~2 MPa) is scaled to the NuScale SMR currently under development at NuScale Power, Inc.. Minor modifications to the model containment have been made to control the non-condensable gas fraction and to utilize the secondary loop stable steam flow for condensation testing. UW-Madison has developed a containment condensation model, which leveraged previous validated containment heat transfer work carried out at UW-Madison, and extended the range of applicability of the model to integral SMR designs that utilize containment vessels of high heat transfer efficiencies. In this final report, the research background and literature survey are presented in Chapter 2 and 3, respectively. The test facility description and modifications are summarized in Chapter 4, and the scaling analysis is introduced in Chapter 5. The tests description, procedures, and data analysis are presented in Chapter 6, while the numerical modeling is presented in Chapter 7, followed by a conclusion section in Chapter 8.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1258470
Report Number(s):
12-3630
12-3630
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS