Metal fires and their implications for advanced reactors.

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This report details the primary results of the Laboratory Directed Research and Development project (LDRD 08-0857) Metal Fires and Their Implications for Advance Reactors. Advanced reactors may employ liquid metal coolants, typically sodium, because of their many desirable qualities. This project addressed some of the significant challenges associated with the use of liquid metal coolants, primary among these being the extremely rapid oxidation (combustion) that occurs at the high operating temperatures in reactors. The project has identified a number of areas for which gaps existed in knowledge pertinent to reactor safety analyses. Experimental and analysis capabilities were developed in these ... continued below

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197 p.

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Nowlen, Steven Patrick; Figueroa, Victor G.; Olivier, Tara Jean; Hewson, John C. & Blanchat, Thomas K. October 1, 2010.

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Description

This report details the primary results of the Laboratory Directed Research and Development project (LDRD 08-0857) Metal Fires and Their Implications for Advance Reactors. Advanced reactors may employ liquid metal coolants, typically sodium, because of their many desirable qualities. This project addressed some of the significant challenges associated with the use of liquid metal coolants, primary among these being the extremely rapid oxidation (combustion) that occurs at the high operating temperatures in reactors. The project has identified a number of areas for which gaps existed in knowledge pertinent to reactor safety analyses. Experimental and analysis capabilities were developed in these areas to varying degrees. In conjunction with team participation in a DOE gap analysis panel, focus was on the oxidation of spilled sodium on thermally massive surfaces. These are spills onto surfaces that substantially cool the sodium during the oxidation process, and they are relevant because standard risk mitigation procedures seek to move spill environments into this regime through rapid draining of spilled sodium. While the spilled sodium is not quenched, the burning mode is different in that there is a transition to a smoldering mode that has not been comprehensively described previously. Prior work has described spilled sodium as a pool fire, but there is a crucial, experimentally-observed transition to a smoldering mode of oxidation. A series of experimental measurements have comprehensively described the thermal evolution of this type of sodium fire for the first time. A new physics-based model has been developed that also predicts the thermal evolution of this type of sodium fire for the first time. The model introduces smoldering oxidation through porous oxide layers to go beyond traditional pool fire analyses that have been carried out previously in order to predict experimentally observed trends. Combined, these developments add significantly to the safety analysis capabilities of the advanced-reactor community for directly relevant scenarios. Beyond the focus on the thermally-interacting and smoldering sodium pool fires, experimental and analysis capabilities for sodium spray fires have also been developed in this project.

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197 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2010-7113
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/1010415 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1010415
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832427

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  • October 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 1:23 p.m.

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Nowlen, Steven Patrick; Figueroa, Victor G.; Olivier, Tara Jean; Hewson, John C. & Blanchat, Thomas K. Metal fires and their implications for advanced reactors., report, October 1, 2010; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832427/: accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.