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Experimental Study on Natural Circulation in a Lead Bismuth Eutectic Loop

[+] Author Affiliations
Leitai Shi, Guanghui Su, Tan Bing, Ronghua Chen, Wenxi Tian, Suizheng Qiu, Junmei Wu

Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China

Paper No. ICONE25-66261, pp. V006T08A017; 6 pages
  • 2017 25th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 6: Thermal-Hydraulics
  • Shanghai, China, July 2–6, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5784-7
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


In order to investigate the thermal-hydraulic characteristics of LBE in Accelerator Driven System (ADS), the Natural Circulation Capability Loop (NCCL) test facility was designed and constructed at Xi’An Jiaotong university in 2015. NCCL is a middle-scale experimental loop designed for investigating the natural circulation capacity, gas-lift pump enhancing circulation capacity and heat-transfer characteristic of LBE. For the natural circulation capability experiment, the loop is filled with argon gas at 0.2 MPa before filling LBE from store tank. The maximum temperature of LBE is 500 C°, while the normal operation temperature was maintained at 400 C°. In this paper, the LBE natural circulation characteristics were investigated with experiments in NCCL test facility. The study includes measurements on start-up of natural circulation and capability of natural circulation. Significant natural convection flow was observed in the experiments. It was found that the natural circulation was quickly established and stabilized due to LBE high thermal expansion property. It took only a few minutes to have a stable natural circulation prevailing from cold conditions. At the same time, the temperature difference between heating section and cooling section increase quickly and reach to the maximum value. And in the range of 10 minutes, a steady circulation can be performed. The natural circulation flowrate depends on the loop resistance, and the temperature difference between the hot leg and the cold leg, as determined by the power level and the heat sink capacity. The experiments show that the maximum flowrate for the natural circulation is 0∼0.81 kg/s.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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