Multiphysics Investigation on Coolant Thermohydraulic Conditions and Fuel Rod Behavior During a Loss-of-Coolant Accident

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Original languageEnglish
Article number691813
Journal / PublicationFrontiers in Energy Research
Online published10 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021



This article simulates the multiphysics coolant thermohydraulic conditions and fuel performance of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) during a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA). In the coolant channel of a PWR, the coolant undergoes a series of different boiling regimes along the axial direction. At the inlet of the coolant channel, heat exchange between the cladding wall and coolant is based on single-phase forced convection. As the coolant flow distance increases, the boiling regime gradually converts to nucleate boiling. When a LOCA occurs, on the one hand, the coolant flux and coolant pressure decrease sharply; on the other hand, the heat flux at the cladding wall decreases relatively slowly. They both contribute to a swift increase in coolant temperature. As a consequence, a boiling crisis may occur as critical heat flux (CHF) decreases. In this article, the void fraction along the length of coolant channel in a reactor and mechanical performance of Zr cladding enwrapping UO2 fuel are investigated by establishing a fully coupled multiphysics model based on the CAMPUS code. Physical models of coolant boiling regimes are implemented into the CAMPUS code by adopting different heat transfer models and void fraction models. Physical properties of the coolant are implemented into the CAMPUS code using curve-fitting results. All physical models and parameters related to solid heat transfer are implemented into the CAMPUS code with a 2D axisymmetric geometry. The modeling results help enhance our understanding of void fraction along the length of the coolant channel and mechanical performance of Zr cladding enwrapping UO2 fuel under different coolant pressure and mass flux conditions during a LOCA.

Research Area(s)

  • CAMPUS code, LOCA, mechanical performance, multiphysics, PWR, void fraction

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