Development of methodology for computational analysis of thermo-hydraulic processes proceeding in fast-neutron reactor with FlowVision CFD software

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An approach to numerical analysis of thermo-hydraulic processes proceeding in a fast-neutron reactor is described in the given article. The description covers physical models, numerical schemes and geometry simplifications accepted in the computational model. Steady-state and dynamic regimes of reactor operation are considered. The steady-state regimes simulate the reactor operation at nominal power. The dynamic regimes simulate the shutdown reactor cooling by means of the heat-removal system.

Simulation of thermo-hydraulic processes is carried out in the FlowVision CFD software. A mathematical model describing the coolant flow in the first loop of the fast-neutron reactor was developed on the basis of the available geometrical model. The flow of the working fluid in the reactor simulator is calculated under the assumption that the fluid density does not depend on pressure, with use a $k–\varepsilon$ turbulence model, with use of a model of dispersed medium, and with account of conjugate heat exchange. The model of dispersed medium implemented in the FlowVision software allowed taking into account heat exchange between the heat-exchanger lops. Due to geometric complexity of the core region, the zones occupied by the two heat exchangers were modeled by hydraulic resistances and heat sources.

Numerical simulation of the coolant flow in the FlowVision software enabled obtaining the distributions of temperature, velocity and pressure in the entire computational domain. Using the model of dispersed medium allowed calculation of the temperature distributions in the second loops of the heat exchangers. Besides that, the variation of the coolant temperature along the two thermal probes is determined. The probes were located in the cool and hot chambers of the fast-neutron reactor simulator. Comparative analysis of the numerical and experimental data has shown that the developed mathematical model is correct and, therefore, it can be used for simulation of thermo-hydraulic processes proceeding in fast-neutron reactors with sodium coolant.

Keywords: fast-neutron reactor, hydrodynamics, FlowVision, numerical simulation, thermal stratification
Citation in English: Computer Research and Modeling, 2017, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 87-94
DOI: 10.20537/2076-7633-2017-9-87-94

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