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Measurement of Flow Phenomena in a Lower Plenum Model of a Prismatic Gas-Cooled Reactor

[+] Author Affiliations
Hugh M. McIlroy, Jr., Donald M. McEligot, Robert J. Pink

Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Paper No. ICONE16-48734, pp. 783-791; 9 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


Mean-velocity-field and turbulence data are presented that measure turbulent flow phenomena in an approximately 1:7 scale model of a region of the lower plenum of a typical prismatic gas-cooled reactor (GCR) similar to a General Atomics Gas-Turbine-Modular Helium Reactor (GTMHR) design. The data were obtained in the Matched-Index-of-Refraction (MIR) facility at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and are offered for assessing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. This experiment has been selected as the first Standard Problem endorsed by the Generation IV International Forum. Results concentrate on the region of the lower plenum near its far reflector wall (away from the outlet duct). The flow in the lower plenum consists of multiple jets injected into a confined cross flow — with obstructions. The model consists of a row of full circular posts along its centerline with half-posts on the two parallel walls to approximate geometry scaled to that expected from the staggered parallel rows of posts in the reactor design. The model is fabricated from clear, fused quartz to match the refractive-index of the working fluid so that optical techniques may be employed for the measurements. The benefit of the MIR technique is that it permits optical measurements to determine flow characteristics in complex passages in and around objects to be obtained without locating intrusive transducers that will disturb the flow field and without distortion of the optical paths. An advantage of the INL system is its large size, leading to improved spatial and temporal resolution compared to similar facilities at smaller scales. A three-dimensional (3-D) Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system was used to collect the data. Inlet jet Reynolds numbers (based on the jet diameter and the time-mean bulk velocity) are approximately 4,300 and 12,400. Uncertainty analyses and a discussion of the standard problem are included. The measurements reveal developing, non-uniform, turbulent flow in the inlet jets and complicated flow patterns in the model lower plenum. Data include three-dimensional vector plots, data displays along the coordinate planes (slices) and presentations that describe the component flows at specific regions in the model. Information on inlet conditions is also presented.



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