Development of mathematical model for optimization of sodium leak collection tray

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai 600036, India
Nuclear Engineering and Design (Impact Factor: 0.95). 10/2008; 238(10):2684-2692. DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2008.05.011


Sodium leaks and resultant fire containment play an important role in the safe operation of a fast breeder reactor. Leak collection tray (LCT) is a passive device which is used to collect the highly reactive liquid sodium in the case of an accidental leakage. The consequences of sodium fire are mitigated by oxygen starvation in the vessel which collects the liquid sodium after leakage. The current paper deals with the optimization of the LCT geometry based on the hydrodynamic characteristics of the leaked liquid sodium. Isothermal numerical simulations have been performed to understand the interfacial dynamics of the hot liquid sodium flow in the top tray part and the variation of sodium draining rate into the holdup vessel for various drainpipe diameters and leak rates. Since the numerical simulations involve very high computational effort, an equivalent semi-analytical sloshing/draining model has also been developed which emulates the flow process in the LCT. The predictions of transient mass distributions in the top part and in the holdup vessel for the semi-analytical model are in close match with the results obtained from the detailed numerical study. The results reveal critical geometric parameters at which the un-burnt sodium collected in the LCT will be maximum.

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