Experimental and numerical investigation of the heat transfer between a high temperature reactor pressure vessel and the outside of the concrete confinement structure

Van der Merwe, David-John (2012-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A high temperature reactor (HTR) generates heat inside of the reactor core through nuclear fission, from where the heat is transferred through the core and heats up the reactor pressure vessel (RPV). The heat from the RPV is transported passively through the reactor cavity, where it is cooled by the reactor cavity cooling system (RCCS), through the concrete confinement structure and ultimately into the environment. The concrete confinement structure can withstand temperatures of up to 65°C for normal operating conditions and temperatures of up to 125°C during an emergency. This project endeavours to research the heat transfer between an HTR’s RPV and the outside of the concrete confinement structure by utilising three investigative approaches: experimental, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and analytical. The first approach, an experimental analysis, required the development of an experi- mental model. The model was used to perform experiments and gather temperature data that could be used to verify the accuracy of the CFD simulations. The second approach was a CFD analysis of the experimental model, and the external concrete temperatures from the simulation were compared with the temperatures measured with the experimen- tal model. Finally, an analytical analysis was performed in order to better understand CFD and how CFD solves natural convection-type problems. The experiments were performed successfully and the measurements taken were com- pared with the CFD results. The CFD results are in good agreement with the Dry experiments, but not with the Charged experiments. It was identified that the inaccurate results for the CFD simulations of the Charged experiments arose due to convective heat leakage through gaps in the heat shield and between the heat shield and the sides of the experimental model. A computer program was developed for the analytical analysis and it was established that the program could successfully solve the natural convection in a square cavity - as required.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: ’n Hoë temperatuur reaktor (HTR) genereer hitte binne die reaktor kern deur kernsplyting en die hitte word dan deur die kern versprei en verhit die reaktor se drukvat. Die hitte van die reaktor drukvat word dan passief deur die reaktorholte versprei, waar dit deur die reaktorholte se verkoelingstelsel afgekoel word, en deur die beton beskermingstruktuur gelei word en uiteindelik die omgewing bereik. Die beton beskermingstruktuur kan temperature van tot 65°C onder normale operasietoestande van die reaktor weerstaan, en temperature van tot 125°C tydens ’n noodgeval. Hierdie projek poog om die hitte-oordrag tussen ’n HTR-reaktor drukvat en die buitekant van die beton beskermingstruktuur te on- dersoek deur gebruik te maak van drie ondersoekbenaderings: eksperimenteel, numeriese vloei dinamika (NVD) en analities. Die eerste benadering, ’n eksperimentele analise, het die ontwikkeling van ’n eksper- imentele model vereis. Die model is gebruik om eksperimente uit te voer en temperatu- urmetings te neem wat gebruik kon word om die akkuraatheid van die NVD simulasies te bevestig. Die tweede benadering was ’n NVD-analise van die eksperimentele model, en die eksterne betontemperature verkry van die simulasies is vergelyk met die gemete temperature van die eksperimente. Uiteindelik is ’n analitiese analise uitgevoer ten einde NVD beter te verstaan en hoe NVD natuurlike konveksie-tipe probleme sal oplos. Die eksperimente is suksesvol uitgevoer en die metings is gebruik om die NVD resultate mee te vergelyk. Die NVD resultate van die Droë eksperimente het goeie akkuraatheid getoon. Dit was nie die geval vir die Gelaaide eksperimente nie. Daar is geïdentifiseer dat die verskille in resultate tussen die NVD en die eksperimente aan natuurlike konveksie hitte verliese deur gapings in die hitteskuld en tussen die hitteskuld en die kante van die eksperimentele model toegeskryf kan word. ’n Rekenaarprogram is geskryf vir die analitiese ontleding en die program kon suksesvol die natuurlike konveksie in ’n vierkantige ruimte oplos.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71796
This item appears in the following collections: