Experimental Study of the Thermal-Hydraulic Phenomena in the Reactor Cavity Cooling System and Analysis of the Effects of Graphite Dispersion
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An experimental activity was performed to observe and study the effects of graphite dispersion and deposition on thermal hydraulic phenomena in a Reactor Cavity Cooling System (RCCS). The small scale RCCS experimental facility (16.5cm x 16.5cm x 30.4cm) used for this activity represents half of the reactor cavity with an electrically heated vessel. Water flowing through five vertical pipes removes the heat produced in the vessel and releases it in the environment by mixing with cold water in a large tank. PIV technique was used to study the velocity field of the air inside the cavity. A set of 52 thermocouples was installed in the facility to monitor the temperature profiles of the vessel and pipes walls and air. 10g of a fine graphite powder (particle size average 2 [mu]m) were injected into the cavity through a spraying nozzle placed at the bottom of the vessel. Temperatures and air velocity field were recorded and compared with the measurements obtained before the graphite dispersion, showing a decrease of the temperature surfaces which was related to an increase in their emissivity. The results contribute to the understanding of the RCCS capability in case of an accident scenario.
Vaghetto, Rodolfo (2011). Experimental Study of the Thermal-Hydraulic Phenomena in the Reactor Cavity Cooling System and Analysis of the Effects of Graphite Dispersion. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from