Articles written in Sadhana
Volume 35 Issue 2 April 2010 pp 97-128
Thermal hydraulics plays an important role in the design of liquid metal cooled fast breeder reactor components, where thermal loads are dominant. Detailed thermal hydraulic investigations of reactor components considering multi-physics heat transfer are essential for choosing optimum designs among the various possibilities. Pool hydraulics is multi-dimensional in nature and simple one-dimensional treatment for the same is often inadequate. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) plays a critical role in the design of pool type reactors and becomes an increasingly popular tool, thanks to the advancements in computing technology. In this paper, thermal hydraulic characteristics of a fast breeder reactor, design limits and challenging thermal hydraulic investigations carried out towards successful design of Indian Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor (PFBR) that is under construction, are highlighted. Special attention is paid to phenomena like thermal stratiﬁcation, thermal stripping, gas entrainment, inter-wrapper ﬂow in decay heat removal and multiphysics cellular convection. The issues in these phenomena and the design solutions to address them satisfactorily are elaborated. Experiments performed for special phenomena, which are not amenable for CFD treatment and experiments carried out for validation of the computer codes have also been described.
Volume 38 Issue 6 December 2013 pp 1241-1257
Fast breeder reactors (FBRs) are provided with redundant and diverse plant protection systems with a very low failure probability (<10-6/reactor year), making core disruptive accident (CDA), a beyond design basis event (BDBE). Nevertheless, safety analysis is carried out even for such events with a view to mitigate their consequences by providing engineered safeguards like the in-vessel core catcher. During a CDA, a significant fraction of the hot molten fuel moves downwards and gets relocated to the lower plate of grid plate. The ability of this plate to resist or delay relocation of core melt further has been investigated by developing appropriate mathematical models and translating them into a computer code HEATRAN-1. The core melt is a time dependent volumetric heat source because of the radioactive decay of the fission products which it contains. The code solves the nonlinear heat conduction equation including phase change. The analysis reveals that if the bottom of grid plate is considered to be adiabatic, melt-through of grid plate (i.e., melting of the entire thickness of the plate) occurs between 800 s and 1000 s depending upon the initial conditions. Knowledge of this time estimate is essential for defining the initial thermal load on the core catcher plate. If heat transfer from the bottom of grid plate to the underlying sodium is taken into account, then melt-through does not take place, but the temperature of grid plate is high enough to cause creep failure.