A multi-physics analysis for the actuation of the SSS in opal reactor
Nuclear Engineering Department, INVAP S.E. Esmeralda 356-P.B. C1035ABH, C.A.B.A,
Buenos Aires, Argentina
2 Nuclear Engineering Department, INVAP S.E. Av. Cmte Luis Piedrabuena 4950, R8403CPV S.C. de Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentina
* e-mail: email@example.com
Received in final form: 16 December 2017
Accepted: 30 January 2018
Published online: 18 May 2018
OPAL is a 20 MWth multi-purpose open-pool type Research Reactor located at Lucas Heights, Australia. It was designed, built and commissioned by INVAP between 2000 and 2006 and it has been operated by the Australia Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO) showing a very good overall performance. On November 2016, OPAL reached 10 years of continuous operation, becoming one of the most reliable and available in its kind worldwide, with an unbeaten record of being fully operational 307 days a year. One of the enhanced safety features present in this state-of-art reactor is the availability of an independent, diverse and redundant Second Shutdown System (SSS), which consists in the drainage of the heavy water reflector contained in the Reflector Vessel. As far as high quality experimental data is available from reactor commissioning and operation stages and even from early component design validation stages, several models both regarding neutronic and thermo-hydraulic approaches have been developed during recent years using advanced calculations tools and the novel capabilities to couple them. These advanced models were developed in order to assess the capability of such codes to simulate and predict complex behaviours and develop highly detail analysis. In this framework, INVAP developed a three-dimensional CFD model that represents the detailed hydraulic behaviour of the Second Shutdown System for an actuation scenario, where the heavy water drainage 3D temporal profiles inside the Reflector Vessel can be obtained. This model was validated, comparing the computational results with experimental measurements performed in a real-size physical model built by INVAP during early OPAL design engineering stages. Furthermore, detailed 3D Serpent Monte Carlo models are also available, which have been already validated with experimental data from reactor commissioning and operating cycles. In the present work the neutronic and thermohydraulic models, available for OPAL reactor, are coupled by means of a shared unstructured mesh geometry definition of relevant zones inside the Reflector Vessel. Several scenarios, both regarding coupled and uncoupled neutronic & thermohydraulic behavior, are presented and analyzed, showing the capabilities to develop and manage advanced modelling that allows to predict multi-physics variables observed when an in-depth performance analysis of a Research Reactor like OPAL is carried out.
© D. Ferraro et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2018
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