Journal article

TRACE simulation of sodium boiling in pin bundle experiments under loss-of-flow conditions

In the framework of PSI's FAST code system, the thermal-hydraulic code TRACE is being extended for representation of sodium two-phase flow. As the currently available version (v.5) is limited to the simulation of only single-phase sodium flow, its applicability range is not enough to study the behavior of a Generation IV sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) during transients in which boiling is anticipated. The work reported here concerns the extension of the non-homogeneous, non-equilibrium two-fluid models, which are available in TRACE for steam-water, to sodium two-phase flow simulation. The conventional correlations for ordinary gas-liquid flows are used as basis, with optional correlations specific to liquid metal where necessary. A number of new models for representation of the constitutive equations specific to sodium, with a particular emphasis on the interfacial transfer mechanisms, have been implemented and compared with the original closure models.A first assessment of the extended TRACE version has been carried out, by using the code to model experiments that simulate a loss-of-flow (LOF) accident in a SFR. One- and two-dimensional representations of the test section have been considered. Comparison of the 1D model predictions, with both experiment and SIMMER-III code predictions, confirm the ability of the extended TRACE code to predict the principal sodium boiling phenomena. Two-dimensional representation of the test section, however, has been found necessary for providing more detailed comparisons with the experimental data and thereby studying, in greater detail, the influence of the physical models on the calculated results.The paper thus presents a first-of-its-kind application of TRACE to two-phase sodium flow. It shows the capability of the extended code to predict sodium boiling onset, flow regimes, pressure evolution, dryout, etc. Although the numerical results are in good agreement with the experimental data, the physical models should be further improved. Other integral experiments are planned to be simulated, in order to further develop and validate the two-phase sodium flow modeling. [All rights reserved Elsevier].


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