Analysis of Numerical Studies into the Thermal-Hydraulic and Coupled Neutronic and Thermal-Hydraulic Stability of Supercritical Water Reactors
The paper presents a review of modern studies into the potential types of the supercritical reactor core coolant flow instabilities. Instabilities affect adversely the operating safety of nuclear power plants. Despite an impressive number of numerical studies on the subject, there are problems which remain unsolved. This is largely explained by drawbacks in numerical reactor models. The major of these are the use of one simulated channel instead of a system of two or more parallel channels, the lack of consideration of neutronic feedbacks, and a problem of choosing calculated ratios for the heat-transfer coefficient and the hydraulic resistance coefficient in conditions of a supercritical water flow. Based on this, a decision was made to undertake an analysis which will make it possible to identify these problems and to formulate, on their basis, general requirements to the model of a nuclear reactor with supercritical light-water coolant. The need has been noted for building improved numerical models for the integrated analysis of interlinked hydrodynamic, thermal and neutronic processes in the reactor plant’s cooling channels with regard for the peculiarities of the flow and heat exchange in water with highly variable properties.
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