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Hot Fuel Element Thermal-Hydraulic Modeling in the Jules Horowitz Reactor Nominal and LOFA Conditions
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Reactor Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1271-9795
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences (SCI), Physics, Reactor Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5595-1952
CEA.
CEA.
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
Jules Horowitz Reactor, CATHARE2, FLICA4, STAR-CCM+, loss of flow accident
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-173599Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84962636900OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-173599DiVA: diva2:853805
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
In thesis
1. Development of an Improved Thermal-Hydraulic Modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of an Improved Thermal-Hydraulic Modeling of the Jules Horowitz Reactor
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. xviii, 72 p.
Series
TRITA-FYS, ISSN 0280-316X ; 2017:01
Keyword
Jules Horowitz Reactor, CATHARE2, STAR-CCM+, FLICA4, Material Testing Reactor, Computational Fluid Dynamics, System code, Reactor modeling
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-197712 (URN)978-91-7729-225-8 (ISBN)
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

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