Simulation of fuel dispersion in the MYRRHA-FASTEF primary coolant with CFD and SIMMER-IV

Date: 15/12/2015
Author: Buckingham, S., Planquart, P., Eboli, M., Moreau, V.; Van Tichelen, K.

Published in: Nuclear Engineering and Design, Vol. 295, p. 74-83

The objective of this work is to assess the behaviour of fuel redistribution in heavy liquid metal nuclear systems under fuel pin failure conditions. Two different modelling approaches are considered using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes and a system code, applied to the MYRRHA facility primary coolant loop version 1.4. Two different CFD models are constructed: the first is a single-phase steady model prepared in ANSYS Fluent, while the second is a two-phase model based on the volume of fluid (VOF) method in STARCCM+ to capture the upper free-surface dynamics. Both use a Lagrangian tracking approach with one way coupling to follow the particles throughout the reactor. The system code SIMMER-IV is used for the third model, without neutronic coupling. Although limited regarding the fluid dynamic aspects compared to the CFD codes, comparisons of particle distributions highlight strong similarities despite quantitative discrepancies in the size of fuel accumulations. These disparities should be taken into account while performing the safety analysis of nuclear systems and developing strategies for accident mitigation.