Relap5-3d model validation and benchmark exercises for advanced gas cooled reactor application
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High-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR) are passively safe, efficient, and economical solutions to the worldÂs energy crisis. HTGRs are capable of generating high temperatures during normal operation, introducing design challenges related to material selection and reactor safety. Understanding heat transfer and fluid flow phenomena during normal and transient operation of HTGRs is essential to ensure the adequacy of safety features, such as the reactor cavity cooling system (RCCS). Modeling abilities of system analysis codes, used to develop an understanding of light water reactor phenomenology, need to be proven for HTGRs. RELAP5-3D v2.3.6 is used to generate two reactor plant models for a code-to-code and a code-to-experiment benchmark problem. The code-to-code benchmark problem models the Russian VGM reactor for pressurized and depressurized pressure vessel conditions. Temperature profiles corresponding to each condition are assigned to the pressure vessel heat structure. Experiment objectives are to calculate total thermal energy transferred to the RCCS for both cases. Qualitatively, RELAP5-3DÂs predictions agree closely with those of other system codes such as MORECA and Thermix. RELAP5-3D predicts that 80% of thermal energy transferred to the RCCS is radiant. Quantitatively, RELAP5-3D computes slightly higher radiant and convective heat transfer rates than other system analysis codes. Differences in convective heat transfer rate arise from the type and usage of convection models. Differences in radiant heat transfer stem from the calculation of radiation shape factors, also known as view or configuration factors. A MATLAB script employs a set of radiation shape factor correlations and applies them to the RELAP5-3D model. This same script is used to generate radiation shape factors for the code-toexperiment benchmark problem, which uses the Japanese HTTR reactor to determine temperature along the outside of the pressure vessel. Despite lacking information on material properties, emissivities, and initial conditions, RELAP5-3D temperature trend predictions closely match those of other system codes. Compared to experimental measurements, however, RELAP5-3D cannot capture fluid behavior above the pressure vessel. While qualitatively agreeing over the pressure vessel body, RELAP5-3D predictions diverge from experimental measurements elsewhere. This difference reflects the limitations of using a system analysis code where computational fluid dynamics codes are better suited.
Moore, Eugene James Thomas (2003). Relap5-3d model validation and benchmark exercises for advanced gas cooled reactor application. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from