Small scale experiments of sloshing considering the seismic safety of MYRRHA

Date: 01/05/2016
Author: Myrillas, K., Planquart, P., Buchlin, J.-M.; Schyns, M.

Published in: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, May 2016, Vol. 41, Issue 17, pp 7239-7251

Sloshing can be a great concern for the seismic safety of heavy liquid metal cooled nuclear reactors, such as the Gen IV prototype MYRRHA, currently under development by the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN). Sloshing is studied using reduced scale laboratory experiments on the SHAKESPEARE shaking table facility of the von Karman Institute. Scaling of the experimental model is discussed through dimensional analysis, identifying the appropriate scaling factors which are then applied to the seismic excitation signals. Qualitative results of the liquid sloshing motions inside the model are obtained with flow visualisation, while moments are measured on an instrumented rod that is partially immersed in the liquid. A two component moment-balance is constructed to measure the bending moments on the element about the horizontal axes. The results demonstrate that sloshing, as a non-linear phenomenon, is highly dependent on the frequency of forcing relative to the natural frequency of the liquid in the specific container. In the resonance case the sloshing response reaches the highest amplitude and maximum moments are measured, representing a worst case scenario for the reactor safety. Experiments with internal components in the sloshing model indicate that obstructions reduce the sloshing loads and prevent resonance type sloshing. The proposed methodology with small scale experiments can provide a useful tool for the prediction of the sloshing effects for the MYRRHA design and safety analysis