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F. M. BSEBSU , and G . BEDE Department for Energy Budapest University of Technology and Economic H-1521 Budapest, Hungary Fax: +36 1 463-3273, Phone +36 1 463 2594 Email:BSEBSU@YAHOO.COM
This paper presents the outline of the core thermal hydraulics design and analysis of Budapest nuclear research reactor (WWR-M type), which is a tank type, light water, cooled reactor with 36% enriched uranium coaxial annuli fuel. The Budapest nuclear research reactor is currently upgraded to 10 MWth of thermal power, while the cooling capacity of the reactor was designed and constructed for 20 MWth. This reserve in the cooling capacity serves redundancy today but can be used for future upgrading too. The core thermal hydraulic design was, therefore, done for the normal operation conditions so that fuel elements may have enough safety margins both against the onset of nucleate boiling (ONB) not to allow the nucleate boiling anywhere in the reactor core and against the departure from nucleate boiling (DNB). Thermal hydraulic performance was studied, and it is shown that the 36% enriched UAlx-Al fuels in WWR-SM fuel coolant channel the possibility of force up the reactor power to 20 MWth was investigated with keeping the same core configuration and with three types of fuel coolant channel. The study was carried out for an equilibrium core, with compact load (223 fuel assemblies) under normal operation conditions. Keywords: Research reactor, reactor thermal hydraulics, reactor heat transfer, and reactor power upgrading, WWR-M2 channel.
In this report we shall present the theoretical outline of the core power uprating thermal hydraulics design and analysis of WWR-M2 research reactor as shown in Figure 1, [1-5] which it is a tank type, light water, cooled reactor with 36% enriched uranium coaxial annuli fuel. The WWR-M2 nuclear research reactor is currently uprated to 10 MWth of thermal power, while the cooling capacity of the reactor was designed and constructed for 20 MWth. This reserve in the cooling capacity serves redundancy today but can be used for future uprating too.[1,2] The core thermal hydraulic design was, therefore, done for the normal operation conditions so that fuel elements may have enough safety margins both against the onset of nucleate boiling (ONB) not to allow the nucleate boiling anywhere in the reactor core and against the departure from nucleate boiling (DNB). Thermal hydraulic performance was studied, and it is shown that the 36% enriched UAlx-Al fuels in WWR-SM fuel coolant channel (as shown in Figure 2) the possibility of force up the reactor power to 20 MWth was investigated with keeping the same core configuration and with new design type of fuel coolant channel. The study was carried out for an equilibrium core, with compact load (223 fuel assemblies) under normal operation conditions. The reactor was first put into operation in 1959; its principal functions at that time were to serve as a facility for basic research experiments in the frameworks of research programs of the Academy of Science and industrial development projects. The reactor was first upgraded in 1967, a new type of fuel was introduced and beryllium reflector was applied, that allowed to increase the reactor thermal power from 2 MW th to 5 MWth, and after 27 years of operation a full-scale reconstruction and upgrading project was started. The reconstructed reactor was re-operated in 1992 – 1993. The design concept of the new reactor (upgrade one) is that it has great, flexibility of utilization and that it provides 2
an adequate neutron flux for isotope production, material testing, and neutron physics measurement. The performance of upgraded reactor has been investigated using the WWR-SM fuel type as given in Table 1, with 10 to 20 MWth power level.
2. THERMAL HYDRAULICS CALCULATIONS
Thermal hydraulic studies for the steady state condition were made using the THMOD2 code
developed for thermal hydraulic analysis of nuclear research
reactor with fuel coolant channel type WWR-SM under low temperature and low pressure coolant conditions. The cooling water flows downward through the reactor core, with inlet coolant temperature of 25-50 ºC, while the temperature difference between the core inlet and outlet is a round 5 ºC with a volume flow rate calculated according to the following equation: P = V ρ C p ∆T Where: v P Cp ρ ∆T 1
= Total coolant volume flow rate, [m3/hr] = Reactor core thermal power, [kW] = Average specific heat of coolant = 4.19 [Kj/Kg. ºC] = Average coolant density = 988 [Kg/m3] = Temperature difference = Tout - Tin [ºC].
The dependence Tsat (z) has been calculated by the well-known dependence of saturation temperature by the pressure depending on coordinate Tsat [P (z)] where: [3-5] P ( z ) = Po + ρ g (Wd + z ) -
ρ V2 z (ξ en + f + 1) 2 2b
where g is the gravity acceleration, Po is the atmospheric pressure, Wd is the reactor’s pool depth, ξ en is the channel entrance friction coefficient, ƒ is the friction factor, b is the water spacing between fuel plates and z is the channel axial distance.
The inlet pressure is 1.512 [bar], and reactor core parameters are shown in Table 2, and coolant velocity is calculated by THMOD2 code for each volume flow rate and the reactor core configuration. The Dittus-Boelter’s, and X59 [8,9] correlations were used for the calculation of the convection heat transfer coefficient. The Bergles–Rohsenow’s, and H95 correlations [8,9] for the Onset of Nucleate Boiling (ONB) temperature, and the existing international and X-2000
correlations for DNB heat flux calculation. Boiling
temperature, and saturation temperature. i.e. the complete reactor core heat transfer package modelling is described in THMOD2 code. 
3. PROCEDURE OF THE REACTOR CORE UPRATING
The THMOD2 code considers equal pressure drop for all channels of the reactor core, and calculates the velocity distribution for fuel coolant channels, using the dimensions of fuel elements as given in Table 1 for performing the upgrading calculations. The calculations were preformed with the assumption that the three main primary pumps are operating at full load with a total flow rates as a function of the reactor core power according to Eq. 1. Starting at 10 MWth the power level was gradually increased in steps of 1 MWth up to 20 MWth power level, and according to the maximum operating limits of the WWR-M2 research reactor for a fuel centerline temperature ≤150 ºC and the maximum cladding surface temperature ≤104 ºC. Using the old and new fuel element dimensions as shown in Table 1 as a sample problems of THMOD2 code for thermal hydraulics analysis of WWR-M2 research reactor core and from these we shall select the optimal fuel element dimensions are suitable for WWR-M2 research reactor power uprating and also according to the reactor core design operating limits for fuel centerline temperature and fuel cladding surface temperature fuel elements may have
enough safety margins both against the onset of nucleate boiling (ONB) not to allow the nucleate boiling anywhere in the reactor core and against the departure from nucleate boiling (DNB). Thermal hydraulic performance was studied.  Table 3 shows the fuel centerline temperatures, fuel cladding surface temperatures, saturation temperatures, ONB temperatures, and boiling temperatures as a function of fuel coolant channel type as an example for illustration, and from this table we shall consider only three types of fuel coolant channels for reactor power uprating thermal hydraulics analysis according to reactor core design operating limits. The maximum fuel centerline temperature and fuel cladding surface temperature as a function of reactor core power level and reactor coolant inlet temperature for three types of fuel coolant channels are shown in Table 4. The consequence of these results in Table 4 we shall consider the WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel for WWR-M2 research reactor core power uprating thermal hydraulics analysis. The fuel cladding surface temperature, saturation temperature and ONB temperature as a function of reactor power level and reactor coolant inlet temperature by using the WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel type. This channel type is good and suitable for WWR-M2 research reactor normal and uprating operation conditions according to reactor core design operating limits are shown in Figure 3 and from this figure we shall select the maximum reactor operating power level and reactor coolant inlet temperature as (P = 14 MWth, and Tin = 40 ºC). 4. WWR-M2 REACTOR UPRATING THERMAL HYDRAULICS STUDIES In this section, we are planning to remodel the existing nuclear research reactor core of WWR-M2 at 10 MWth with 36 % low enrichment uranium (Russian standard) fuel to investigate the thermal hydraulic analysis and reactor core performance. The WWR-M2 research reactor is a pool-type, light water-cooled and
moderated nuclear research reactor core. The heat transfer correlations, ONB temperature correlation and DNB critical heat flux correlations adopted in the THMOD2 code for thermal hydraulic analysis and design of nuclear research reactor. Thermal hydraulics calculations were carried out for the forced-convection cooling mode with steady state conditions at core power of 10 MWth with fuel coolant channel WWR-SM1. Figure 4 shows the calculated results of the fuel surface temperature, ONB temperature and saturation temperature where the difference between the ONB temperature and the fuel surface temperature is a minimum for sub-channel C. The temperature is shown as a function of coolant velocity because the coolant velocity is the only dominant variable to the fuel surface temperature. Both the ONB temperature and the saturation temperature become lower with an increase of coolant velocity because an increase in coolant velocity gives lower local pressure according to the increase of pressure loss. The pressure at top and the bottom of WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel are shown in Figure 5 with the coolant velocity as a parameter, to show the characteristics of pressure decrease due to the increase of coolant velocity. The increase of coolant velocity and decrease of pressure give lower temperature (TONB-Tsat). But in this case, the effects of an increase of coolant velocity and decrease of pressure on the increase of temperature difference (TONB-Tsat), due to the increase of coolant velocity are little in magnitude and only Tsat becomes lower according to the pressure decrease due to the increase of coolant velocity. Therefore, both of T sat and TONB become lower with the increase of coolant velocity. On other hand, the fuel surface temperature becomes lower with an increase of coolant velocity. It should be noticed in Figure 4 that the TONB is higher the fuel surface temperature at the coolant
velocity of 4.5 – 9 m/sec. In this range of coolant velocity, no boiling occurs in the sub-channel and on the other hand, two-phase flow occurs with nucleate boiling at the velocity less than 4 m/sec. Therefore, 4.75 m/sec should be adopted as design velocity for the WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel and with total volume flow rate of 2359 m3/hr. At the design velocity of 4.75 m/sec thus determined, the pressure drop between the core inlet and the bottom of WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel is about 0.2323 bar as shown in Figure 5. The distribution of fuel centerline temperature, fuel cladding surface temperature and bulk temperature along the WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel with the operating coolant velocity as shown in Figure 6. The relationship of Nu vs. Re and heat transfer coefficient applied for forced-convection single-phase flow in down flow direction, for WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel with D = 4.71 – 5.47 mm with active length = 60 cm, is illustrated in Figure 7 with reactor core power = 14 MW th, Tin = 40 ºC. Figure 8 illustration the various DNB heat flux correlations described in the heat transfer package of the THMOD2 code for the condition of the thermal hydraulic analysis of WWR-M2 nuclear research reactor fuel coolant channel.D. As for the core exist temperature of coolant, one should be careful of the following problem. If the coolant temperature is considerably high at exist of the core, there is possibility that the coolant temperature should become the saturation temperature resulting in the twophase flow at the location where the local pressure is the lowest in the primary cooling line. This situation should be avoided for a stable steady state operation condition. Figure 9 shows the calculation results of the average bulk coolant temperature at exist of the fuel coolant channel and the saturation temperature where the local pressure is the lowest, as the function of coolant velocity in the fuel coolant channel. The results are shown for the core power of 14 MWth. In the condition of normal operation with
the coolant velocity of 4.75 m/sec designed for the WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel, the lowest pressure is about 1.167 bar with the saturation temperature of 95.76 ºC and the average bulk temperature of coolant at exist of WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel is about 55.55 ºC as shown in Figure 9. Consequently no boiling occurs in the primary cooling piping system. The maximum allowable fuel element cladding surface temperature is about 104 ºC as shown in Figure 10. Core thermal hydraulic characteristics thus designed and analyzed for the forced-convection cooling mode at the reactor core power level of 14 MWth are summarized in Table 5.
5. CALCULATION RESULTS
On the bases of the results obtained using THMOD2 code calculation for WWR-M2 Nuclear Research Reactor core power uprating. We can conclude that theoretically it is possible to increase the reactor core power level up to 14 MWth safely and without any operational problems of the reactor using the existing WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channels (3 coaxial fuel elements) and new design fuel coolant channel as given in Table 1. Also according to the opinion of Russian experts about the uprating of tank pool reactor type it is possible to increase the reactor power by using existing type of fuel coolant channel (old design), and by using other new design type of fuel assemblies. Finally, we can conclude that the reactor upgrading (WWR-M Reactor) is suitable for experimental work but from some safety points of view, we have to consider the following: 1. Increasing the reactor power level or changing the fuel type, the reactor will become new, and it will not be old reactor.
2. We need new safety requirements for radiation monitoring and measurements, for this reason one cannot be sure receive the new safety licensing (permission) from the authority agency (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) for operating the new reactor at that inhabitant area around the reactor. Therefore, all engineering structures and devices buildings of all types, manufacturing plants, electrical machinery, and so on inherently present some element of risk to the public at large. Nuclear reactors are no exception in this regard. At times, however, this risk has been unduly exaggerated, in some measure because of an innate fear of nuclear radiation on the people in that inhabitant area. 3. The auxiliary systems for the old reactor will be change during upgrading the reactor core to new systems like reactor containment; therefore, it will cost a lot (financial problem). According to the above-mentioned points, we suggest to consider that to build a new reactor that has all characteristics needed is better than an upgrade the old reactor
The authors would like to express their appreciation to the Prof. L. Rádonyi, head of Department for Energy, Technical University of Budapest, Hungary for his continuous encouragement, valuable suggestions and supporting this work.
1. KFKI, (Central Research Institute for Physics),: The Budapest Research Reactor Safety Report Analysis, Budapest, Hungary, (1994). 2. Tibor Hargitai,: Refueling strategy at the Budapest research Reactor, 2nd International Topical Meeting on Research Reactor fuel management,
Organized by the European Nuclear Society, Binges, Belgium, Nov. 29-31 (1998). 3. Eryekalov, A. N., et. al.: Thin - Walled Fuel Elements WWR-M5 for Research Reactors, Atomic Energy. Vol. (60) 2, pp. 103 - 106, (1986), (In Russian), 4. Verkhovyekh, P. M. et. al.: Remarks to the Reconstruction of Active Zone in the Nuclear Reactor Type WWR-M, Atomic Energy, Vol. 41,(3), pp. 201-203, (1976), (In Russian). 5. A. A. Enin, and et al.: Design and experience of HEU and LEU fuel for WWR-M reactors, Nucl. Eng. and Des., Vol. 182, pp. 233-240, (1998). 6. BSEBSU, F. M., and BEDE, G.: A Simple Computer Program for the Calculations of Reactor Channel Temperature Distribution, Periodic Polytechnica Series Mech. Eng. (1997) Vol. (41), No. 2, pp.133-142, Technical University of Budapest, Hungary. 7. BSEBSU F. M., and BEDE, G.: Nuclear Reactor Channel Modelling Using THMOD2 code, KERNTECHNIK, 64, (1999). 8. BSEBSU, F. M. : Thermal Hydraulic Analysis of Water-Cooled Nuclear Research Reactors, Ph. D. Dissertation, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest-Hungary, (2001). 9. BSEBSU, F. M., and BEDE G.:, Theoretical study in Single-Phase ForcedConvection Heat Transfer Characteristics for Narrow Annuli Fuel Coolant Channels, Periodic Polytechnica Series Mech. Eng., Technical University of Budapest, Hungary. Under Press, (2001). 10. BSEBSU, F. M., RAMADAN M. M., and BEDE G.: Tajoura Reactor Power Up rating–Thermal Hydraulic Analysis, International Multidisciplinary
Conference on Environmental and Economical Development in Libya and Hungary, Godollo, Hungary, April 27-28, (1998). 11. BSEBSU, F. M., and BEDE, G:, Critical Heat Flux Correlations for Nuclear Research Reactors, under preparation, (2000). 12. BSEBSU, F. M.: THMOD2 Code Operation Manual, Internal Report, Department for Energy, Technical University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary. (1998). 13. Y. Sudo, H. Ando, H. Ikawa, and N. Ohnishi:, Core Thermohydraulic Design with 20% LEU Fuel for Upgraded Research Reactor JRR-3, Journal of Nucl. Sci. and Tech., 22 (7), pp. 551-564, (July 1985).
Fig. 1. WWR-M2 research reactor core horizontal cross-section.
Fig. 2. WWR-SM Fuel Coolant Channel
Table 1 WWR-SM fuel coolant channels, fuel meat and clad dimensions [mm] CHANNEL TYPE WWR-SM0 WWR-SM1 WWR-SM2 WWR-SM3 WWR-SM4 WWR-M51 WWR-M52 WWR-M53 FUEL E. I FUEL E. II FUEL E. III CTH FTH CTH CTH FTH CTH CTH FTH CTH 0.90 0.70 0.90 0.90 0.70 0.90 0.94 0.74 094 1.092 1.098 0.956 1.092 1.098 0.956 1.092 1.098 0.956 1.026 0.847 1.026 1.026 0.847 1.026 1.026 0.847 1.026 0.90 0.70 0.90 0.90 0.70 0.90 0.90 0.70 0.90 0.80 0.90 0.80 0.80 0.90 0.80 0.80 0.90 0.80 0.36 0.53 0.36 0.36 0.53 0.36 0.36 0.53 0.36 0.43 0.39 0.43 0.43 0.39 0.43 0.43 0.39 0.43 0.41 0.43 0.41 0.41 0.43 0.41 0.41 0.43 0.41
Table 1. Core Design Description Parameters Reactor type Power level, MW Vertical positions Tank type 10 397
Fuel positions Irradiation position Beryllium displacers Horizontal beam Radial Tangential Fuel Type Meat Material Clad Material Active Length, mm Lattice Pitch, mm Moderator, coolant Reflector Control Rod Absorber Safety Rod Automatic Rod Manual Rod Coolant inlet Temperature. ΟC Coolant inlet Pressure, bar
223 51 123 10 8 2 WWR-SM UAlx-Al Al (SAV-I) 600 35 H2O Beryllium B4C (18) 3 1 14 35 1.52
Fig. 3. The maximum cladding surface temperature, saturation temperature, and ONB temperature as a function of reactor core power level and reactor coolant inlet temperature for fuel elements of WWR-SM fuel coolant channel dimensions.
Table 3 The comparison between the centerline temperatures, fuel cladding surface temperatures, saturation temperatures, ONB temperatures, and boiling temperatures at P = 10 MWth, and Tin = 50 ºC for the fuel coolant channels. channel type
WWR-SM0 WWR-SM1 WWR-SM2 WWR-SM3 WWR-SM4 WWR-M51 WWR-M52 WWR-M53
P, [MWth] 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
TF, [ºC] 155.03 139.59 144.50 153.62 154.84 184.08 190.85 191.13
TCl, [ºC] 109.22 102.30 103.91 108.24 109.46 123.03 125.61 125.88
Tsat, [ºC] 109.04 106.60 107.94 109.20 109.20 110.83 111.10 111.10
TONB, [ºC] 111.39 109.01 110.31 111.52 111.52 113.17 113.40 113.40
TBLG, [ºC] 138.80 138.58 136.79 139.04 139.04 142.01 142.54 142.54
Table 4 The fuel centerline temperature and fuel cladding surface temperature as a function of reactor core power level, coolant inlet temperature and fuel coolant channel type.
P MWth 10 13 15 18 20 10 13 15 18 20 10 13 15 18 20
Tin =35 ºC Tin =40 ºC Tin =50 ºC Fuel Centerline Temperature [ºC]
Tin =35 ºC Tin =40 ºC Tin =50 ºC Clad Surface Temperature [ºC]
152.74 160.27 164.72 170.78 174.51 135.10 142.29 146.61 170.78 174.51 139.28 148.01 152.21 157.99 161.57
153.20 160.47 164.77 170.64 174.26 136.34 143.31 147.51 170.64 174.26 141.84 148.69 152.76 158.36 161.83
155.03 161.17 165.89 171.41 174.82 139.59 146.17 150.16 171.41 174.82 144.50 150.93 154.77 160.06 163.34
100.65 105.29 108.11 112.04 114.50 92.63 97.49 100.49 112.04 114.50 93.97 99.24 102.00 105.89 108.34
103.42 107.89 110.61 114.44 116.85 95.73 100.47 103.41 114.44 116.85 97.63 102.05 104.75 108.54 110.93
109.22 113.63 116.21 119.81 122.08 102.30 106.84 109.66 119.81 122.08 103.91 108.11 110.68 114.31 116.61
Table 5. Summary of core thermal hydraulics analysis at 14 MWth for WWR-M2 research reactor core Primary system total volume flow rate, [m3/hr] Flow ratio in active core region, [%] Coolant velocity in WWR-SM1 sub-channels, [m/sec] Core inlet coolant temperature, [oC] Average temperature through primary circuit system, [oC] Core inlet pressure, [bar] Pressure loss through active reactor core, [bar] Minimum temperature margin to ONB, [oC] Minimum DNB ratio, [--] Maximum cladding surface temperature (upper limit), [oC] Core exit coolant temperature, [oC] Onset Nucleate Boiling temperature, TONB, [oC] 2359 78 4.75 40 5 1.512 0.232 5 1.86 104 55.55 109
Saturation temperature, Tsat, [oC] q′′ , [W/cm2] ONB
Fig. 4. Maximum cladding surface temperature, saturation temperature, and ONB temperature as a function of reactor coolant velocity of sub-channel C.
Fig. 5. The pressure at reactor top and bottom as a function of reactor coolant velocity of sub-channel C.
Fig. 6. The axial distribution of fuel centerline temperature, fuel surface temperature, and coolant temperature along the coolant sub-channel D of WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel.
Fig. 7. Illustration of heat transfer correlation applied for forced-convection singlephase flow for down flow.
Fig. 8. Illustration of DNB critical heat flux correlation used for sub-channel D of WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel.
Fig. 9. Calculated results of average core exit coolant temperature and saturation temperature at lowest pressure in primary coolaing line vs. core coolant velocity.
Fig. 10. Calculated results of maximum cladding surfaces of the fuel element 3 of WWR-SM1 fuel coolant channel vs. core coolant velocity.
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