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Development of an Improved Thermal-Hydraulic Modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Reactor Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1271-9795
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The newest European high performance material testing reactor, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, is under construction at CEA Cadarache research center in France. The reactor will support existing and future nuclear reactor technologies, with the first criticality expected at the end of this decade.

The current/reference CEA methodology for simulating the thermalhydraulic behavior of the reactor gives reliable results. The CATHARE2 code simulates the full reactor circuit with a simplified approach for the core. The results of this model are used as boundary conditions in a three-dimensional FLICA4 core simulation. However this procedure needs further improvement and simplification to shorten the computational requirements and give more accurate core level data. The reactor’s high performance (e.g. high neutron fluxes, high power densities) and its design (e.g. narrow flow channels in the core) render the reactor modeling challenging compared to more conventional designs. It is possible via thermal-hydraulic or solely hydraulic Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations to achieve a better insight of the flow and thermal aspects of the reactor’s performance. This approach is utilized to assess the initial modeling assumptions and to detect if more accurate modeling is necessary. There were no CFD thermal-hydraulic publications available on the JHR prior to the current PhD thesis project.

The improvement process is split into five steps. In the first step, the state-of-the-art CEA methodology for thermal-hydraulic modeling of the reactor using the system code CATHARE2 and the core analysis code FLICA4 is described. In the second and third steps, a CFD thermal-hydraulic simulations of the reactor’s hot fuel element are undertaken with the code STAR-CCM+. Moreover, a conjugate heat transfer analysis is performed for the hot channel. The knowledge of the flow and temperature fields between different channels is important for performing safety analyses and for accurate modeling. In the fourth step, the flow field of the full reactor vessel is investigated by conducting CFD hydraulic simulations in order to identify the mass flow split between the 36 fuel elements and to describe the flow field in the upper and lower plenums. As a side study a thermal-hydraulic calculation, similar to those performed in previous steps is undertaken utilizing the outcome of the hydraulic calculation as an input. The final step culminates by producing an improved, more realistic, purely CATHARE2 based, JHR model, incorporating all the new knowledge acquired from the previous steps.

The primary outcome of this four year PhD research project is the improved, more realistic, CATHARE2 model of the JHR with two approaches for the hot fuel element. Furthermore, the project has led to improved thermal-hydraulic knowledge of the complex reactor (including the hot fuel element), with the most prominent findings presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. , p. xviii, 72
Series
TRITA-FYS, ISSN 0280-316X ; 2017:01
Keywords [en]
Jules Horowitz Reactor, CATHARE2, STAR-CCM+, FLICA4, Material Testing Reactor, Computational Fluid Dynamics, System code, Reactor modeling
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-197712ISBN: 978-91-7729-225-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-197712DiVA, id: diva2:1053103
Public defence
2017-01-31, FA32, AlbaNova University Center, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
DEMO-JHR
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

QC 20161208

Available from: 2016-12-08 Created: 2016-12-08 Last updated: 2016-12-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A review of the current thermal-hydraulic modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor: A loss of flow accident analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A review of the current thermal-hydraulic modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor: A loss of flow accident analysis
2014 (English)In: Nuclear Engineering and Design, ISSN 0029-5493, E-ISSN 1872-759X, Vol. 280, p. 294-304Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The newest European high performance material testing reactor, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, will support existing and future nuclear reactor designs. The reactor is under construction at CEA Cadarache research center in France and is expected to start operation at the end of this decade. R&D and analytical works have already been performed to set-up the methodology for thermal-hydraulic calculations of the reactor. This paper presents the off-line coupled thermal-hydraulic modeling of the reactor using the CATHARE system code and the FLICA4 core analysis code. The main objective of the present work is to analyze the thermal-hydraulic calculations of the reactor during the loss of flow accident using CEA methodology. Possible improvements of the current methodology are shortly discussed and suggested.

Keywords
Pressure-Drop, Computer Code, Heat-Transfer
National Category
Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-156849 (URN)10.1016/j.nucengdes.2014.09.019 (DOI)000347265100030 ()2-s2.0-84914159990 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Jules Horowitz Reactor, CATHARE, FLICA4, LOFA
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

QC 20150130

Available from: 2014-12-03 Created: 2014-12-03 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Hot Fuel Element Thermal-Hydraulic Modeling in the Jules Horowitz Reactor Nominal and LOFA Conditions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hot Fuel Element Thermal-Hydraulic Modeling in the Jules Horowitz Reactor Nominal and LOFA Conditions
2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the 16th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-16), 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The newest European high performance material testing reactor, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, is under construction at CEA Cadarache research center in France. The reactor will support the existing and future nuclear reactor technologies and will start operation at the end of the decade.

The current CEA methodology for simulating the thermal-hydraulic behavior of the reactor gives reliable results. Today the CATHARE2 code simulates the full reactor with a simplified approach for the core and the boundary conditions are transferred into the three-dimensional FLICA4 core simulation. However this procedure needs to be further improved and simplified to shorten the computational time and to give more accurate core level data. Specific CFD calculations will better identify the thermal-hydraulics phenomena and optimize the meshing/model of the improved procedure.

This article presents the current one-coupled thermal-hydraulic modeling of the reactor utilizing the system code CATHARE2 and the core analysis code FLICA4 and describes the more realistic new hot fuel element modeling by using CFD code STAR-CCM+ including conjugate heat transfer. Finally, the results from the both modeling are compared in the hot channel in the nominal condition and in the case of LOFA.

This study has improved the thermal-hydraulic knowledge of the complex hot fuel element and the most prominent finds are presented. In addition, the possible improvements for the more realistic CATHARE2’s core model are proposed. In all simulations the safety criteria were satisfied, the reactor stayed in the single-phase regime and overall integrity of the fuel plate was ensured.

Keywords
Jules Horowitz Reactor, CATHARE2, FLICA4, STAR-CCM+, loss of flow accident
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173599 (URN)2-s2.0-84962636900 (Scopus ID)
Conference
16th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-16)
Note

QC 20150915. QC 20160226

Available from: 2015-09-15 Created: 2015-09-15 Last updated: 2016-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. Hot fuel element thermal-hydraulics in the Jules Horowitz Reactor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hot fuel element thermal-hydraulics in the Jules Horowitz Reactor
2016 (English)In: Nuclear Engineering and Design, ISSN 0029-5493, E-ISSN 1872-759X, Vol. 300, p. 149-160Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The newest European high performance material testing reactor, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, will support existing and future nuclear reactor designs. The reactor is under construction at CEA Cadarache research center in France and is expected to start operation at the end of this decade. This paper presents a Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation of the reactors hot fuel element. Moreover conjugate heat transfer analysis is performed for the hot channel. The main objective of this work is to improve the thermal-hydraulic knowledge of the complex hot fuel element and to present the most prominent finds. Possible improvements for the future work are suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
National Category
Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-182055 (URN)10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.01.031 (DOI)000372840400015 ()2-s2.0-84957872513 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20160418

Available from: 2016-02-12 Created: 2016-02-12 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
4. Hydraulic modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor: Mass flow split between 36 fuel elements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Hydraulic modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor: Mass flow split between 36 fuel elements
2016 (English)In: Nuclear Engineering and Design, ISSN 0029-5493, E-ISSN 1872-759X, Vol. 308, p. 9-19Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The newest European high performance material testing reactor, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, is under construction at the CEA Cadarache research center in southern France. The reactor will support existing and future nuclear reactor technologies and the first criticality is expected to be achieved at the end of this decade. This paper presents Computational Fluid Dynamics hydraulic calculations of the reactor and some results of the side thermal-hydraulic simulation of the fuel element. The main objective of this work is to improve the hydraulic knowledge of the reactor and to present the mass flow distribution between 36 fuel assemblies. Potential improvements for future work are proposed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-191006 (URN)10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.08.008 (DOI)2-s2.0-84982234766 (Scopus ID)
External cooperation:
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Note

QC 20160914

Available from: 2016-08-22 Created: 2016-08-22 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved
5. An improved thermal-hydraulic modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor using the CATHARE2 system code
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An improved thermal-hydraulic modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor using the CATHARE2 system code
2017 (English)In: Nuclear Engineering and Design, ISSN 0029-5493, E-ISSN 1872-759X, Vol. 311, p. 156-166Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The newest European high performance material testing reactor, the Jules Horowitz Reactor, will support current and future nuclear reactor designs. The reactor is under construction at the CEA Cadarache research center in southern France and is expected to achieve first criticality at the end of this decade. This paper presents an improved thermal-hydraulic modeling of the reactor using solely CATHARE2 system code. Up to now, the CATHARE2 code was simulating the full reactor with a simplified approach for the core and the boundary conditions were transferred into the three-dimensional FLICA4 core simulation. A new more realistic methodology is utilized to analyze the thermal-hydraulic simulation of the reactor during a loss of flow accident.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
National Category
Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-197711 (URN)10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.11.029 (DOI)2-s2.0-85007283030 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20161208

Available from: 2016-12-08 Created: 2016-12-08 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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