Annular linear induction pump (ALIP) is an ideal type of pump applied as the nuclear coolant pump for the sodium-cooled faster reactor (SFR). However, the operation will suffer from serious unstable problems when the pump size is increased and run at certain working conditions. A 3d numerical model of an ALIP based on the Finite Element method is built in this work to study the flow instability in the pump channel. The results show that the model can accurately predict the pump head at different working flow rate and some common phenomena, such as double supply fluctuation (DSF) and low frequency fluctuation. The results under unstable condition show that the liquid sodium in pump channel will separate in term of the outer stator position. Reversed flow and vortices always occur in the channel between two outer stators because of the non-uniform magnetic field in the azimuthal direction. Meanwhile the unstable flow is first presented in the meridian plane near the outer duct surface. Finally, a wave-like swing of the flow is presented at the rear of the unstable flow region, resulting in low frequency fluctuation in pressure.

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