Experimental Investigation on the Effects of Coolant Concentration on Sub-Cooled Boiling and Crud Deposition on Reactor Cladding at Prototypical PWR Operating Conditions

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Increasing demand for energy necessitates nuclear power units to increase power limits. This implies significant changes in the design of the core of the nuclear power units, therefore providing better performance and safety in operations. A major hindrance to the increase of nuclear reactor performance especially in Pressurized Deionized water Reactors (PWR) is Axial Offset Anomaly (AOA)--the unexpected change in the core axial power distribution during operation from the predicted distribution. This problem is thought to be occur because of precipitation and deposition of lithiated compounds like boric acid (H{sub 2}BO{sub 3}) and lithium metaborate (LiBO{sub 2}) on the fuel ... continued below

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Schultis, J., Kenneth & Fenton, Donald, L. October 20, 2006.

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Increasing demand for energy necessitates nuclear power units to increase power limits. This implies significant changes in the design of the core of the nuclear power units, therefore providing better performance and safety in operations. A major hindrance to the increase of nuclear reactor performance especially in Pressurized Deionized water Reactors (PWR) is Axial Offset Anomaly (AOA)--the unexpected change in the core axial power distribution during operation from the predicted distribution. This problem is thought to be occur because of precipitation and deposition of lithiated compounds like boric acid (H{sub 2}BO{sub 3}) and lithium metaborate (LiBO{sub 2}) on the fuel rod cladding. Deposited boron absorbs neutrons thereby affecting the total power distribution inside the reactor. AOA is thought to occur when there is sufficient build-up of crud deposits on the cladding during subcooled nucleate boiling. Predicting AOA is difficult as there is very little information regarding the heat and mass transfer during subcooled nucleate boiling. An experimental investigation was conducted to study the heat transfer characteristics during subcooled nucleate boiling at prototypical PWR conditions. Pool boiling tests were conducted with varying concentrations of lithium metaborate (LiBO{sub 2}) and boric acid (H{sub 2}BO{sub 3}) solutions in deionized water. The experimental data collected includes the effect of coolant concentration, subcooling, system pressure and heat flux on pool the boiling heat transfer coefficient. The analysis of particulate deposits formed on the fuel cladding surface during subcooled nucleate boiling was also performed. The results indicate that the pool boiling heat transfer coefficient degrades in the presence of boric acid and lithium metaborate compared to pure deionized water due to lesser nucleation. The pool boiling heat transfer coefficients decreased by about 24% for 5000 ppm concentrated boric acid solution and by 27% for 5000 ppm lithium metaborate solution respectively at the saturation temperature for 1000 psi (68.9 bar) coolant pressure. Boiling tests also revealed the formation of fine deposits of boron and lithium on the cladding surface which degraded the heat transfer rates. The boron and lithium metaborate precipitates after a 5 day test at 5000 ppm concentration and 1000 psi (68.9 bar) operating pressure reduced the heat transfer rate 21% and 30%, respectively for the two solutions.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ID/14111-FINAL
  • Grant Number: FG07-01ID14111
  • DOI: 10.2172/894209 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 894209
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc885001

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  • October 20, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 2:20 p.m.

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Schultis, J., Kenneth & Fenton, Donald, L. Experimental Investigation on the Effects of Coolant Concentration on Sub-Cooled Boiling and Crud Deposition on Reactor Cladding at Prototypical PWR Operating Conditions, report, October 20, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc885001/: accessed June 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.