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Design of Wire-Wrapped Rod Bundle Matched Index-of-Refraction Experiments

[+] Author Affiliations
Glenn E. McCreery, Hugh M. McIlroy, Jr., Kurt D. Hamman, Hongbin Zhang

Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Paper No. ICONE16-48585, pp. 595-605; 11 pages
  • 16th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 3: Thermal Hydraulics; Instrumentation and Controls
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, May 11–15, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4816-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3820-X


Experiments will be conducted in the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Matched Index-of-Refraction (MIR) Flow Facility [1] to characterize the three-dimensional velocity and turbulence fields in a wire-wrapped rod bundle typically employed in liquid-metal cooled fast reactors and to provide benchmark data for computer code validation. Sodium cooled fast reactors are under consideration for use in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) program. The experiment model will be constructed of quartz components and the working fluid will be mineral oil. Accurate temperature control (to within ± 0.05 °C) matches the index-of-refraction of mineral oil with that of quartz and renders the model transparent to the wavelength of laser light employed for optical measurements. The model will be a scaled 7-pin rod bundle enclosed in a hexagonal canister. Flow field measurements will be obtained with a LaVision 3-D particle image velocimeter (PIV) and complimented by near-wall velocity measurements obtained from a 2-D laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV). These measurements will be used as benchmark data for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) validation. The rod bundle model dimensions will be scaled up from the typical dimensions of a fast reactor fuel assembly to provide the maximum Reynolds number achievable in the MIR flow loop. A range of flows from laminar to fully-turbulent will be available with a maximum Reynolds number, based on bundle hydraulic diameter, of approximately 22,000. The fuel pins will be simulated by 85 mm diameter quartz tubes (closed on the inlet ends) and the wire-wrap will be simulated by 25 mm diameter quartz rods. The canister walls will be constructed from quartz plates. The model will be approximately 2.13 m in length. Bundle pressure losses will also be measured and the data recorded for code comparisons. The experiment design and preliminary CFD calculations, which will be used to provide qualitative hydrodynamic information, are presented in this paper.



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