Performance and stability analysis of gas-injection enhanced natural circulation in heavy-liquid-metal-cooled systems Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qj72pb167

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  • The purpose of this study is to investigate the performance and stability of the gas-injection enhanced natural circulation in heavy-liquid-metal-cooled systems. The target system is STAR-LM, which is a 400-MWt-class advanced lead-cooled fast reactor under development by Argonne National Laboratory and Oregon State University. The primary loop of STAR-LM relies on natural circulation to eliminate main circulation pumps for enhancement of passive safety. To significantly increase the natural circulation flow rate for the incorporation of potential future power uprates, the injection of noncondensable gas into the coolant above the core is envisioned ("gas lift pump"). Reliance upon gas-injection enhanced natural circulation raises the concern of flow instability due to the relatively high temperature change in the reactor core and the two-phase flow condition in the riser. For this study, the one-dimensional flow field equations were applied to each flow section and the mixture models of two-phase flow, i.e., both the homogeneous and drift-flux equilibrium models were used in the twophase region of the riser. For the stability analysis, the linear perturbation technique based on the frequency-domain approach was used by employing the Nyquist stability criterion and a numerical root search method. It has been shown that the thermal power of the STAR-LM natural circulation system could be increased from 400 up to 1152 MW with gas injection under the limiting void fraction of 0.30 and limiting coolant velocity of 2.0 mIs from the steady-state performance analysis. As the result of the linear stability analysis, it has turned out that the STAR-LM natural circulation system would be stable even with gas injection. In addition, through the parametric study, it has been found that the thermal inertia effects of solid structures such as fuel rod and heat exchanger tube should be considered in the stability analysis model. The results of this study will be a part of the optimized stable design of the gas-injection enhanced natural circulation of STAR-LM with substantially improved power level and economical competitiveness. Furthermore, combined with the parametric study, this research could contribute a guideline for the design of other similar heavy-liquid-metalcooled natural circulation systems with gas injection.
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