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Evaluation of the Sub-Channel Code COBRA-TF for Prediction of BWR Fuel Assembly Void Fraction Distribution

[+] Author Affiliations
Fatih Aydogan, Lawrence E. Hochreiter, Kostadin Ivanov

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Paper No. ICONE14-89174, pp. 133-139; 7 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 2: Thermal Hydraulics
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4243-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Good quality experimental data is needed to refine the thermal hydraulic models for the prediction of rod bundle void distribution and critical heat flux (CHF) or dry-out. The Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC) has provided a valuable database to evaluate the thermal hydraulic codes [1]. Part of this database was selected for the NUPEC BWR Full-size Fine-Mesh Bundle Tests (BFBT) benchmark sponsored by US NRC, METI-Japan, NEA/OECD and Nuclear Engineering Program of the Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Twenty-five organizations from ten countries have confirmed their intention to participate and will provide code predictions to be compared to the measured data for a series of defined exercises within the framework of the BFBT benchmark. This benchmark data includes both the fine-mesh high quality sub-channel void fraction and critical power data. Using a full BWR rod bundle test facility, the void distribution was measured at mesh sizes smaller than the sub-channel by using a state-of-the-art computer tomography (CT) technology [1]. Experiments were performed for different pressures, flow rates, exit qualities, inlet sub-cooling, power distributions, spacer types and assembly designs. There are microscopic and sub-channel averaged void fraction data from the CT scanner at the bundle exit as well as X-ray densitometer void distribution data at different elevation levels in the rod bundle. Each sub-channel’s loss coefficient was calculated with using the Rehme method [2,3], and a COBRA-TF sub-channel model was developed for the NUPEC facility. The BWR assembly that was modeled with COBRA-TF includes two water rods at the center. The predicted sub-channel void fraction values from COBRA-TF are compared with the bundle exit void fraction values measured using the CT-scanner void fraction from the BFBT benchmark data. Different plots are used to examine the code prediction of the void distribution at a sub-channel level for the different sub-channels within the bundle.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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