This paper describes the design process followed by Westinghouse Electric South Africa for the insertion of hot internals into the Reactivity Control System (RCS) and Reserve Shutdown System (RSS) Units Under Test (UUTs) at the Helium Test Facility (HTF) at Pelindaba, South Africa. The aim of the UUTs is to allow the validation of the high temperature operation of the RCS and RSS systems for implementation into the proposed Demonstration Power Plant of the PBMR. The units use electrical heaters to obtain pebble-bed reactor thermal conditions for both the control rods and small absorber spheres (SAS) under a pressurized helium environment. Design challenges include providing for strength under elevated temperatures (900°C maximum); pressure boundary integrity (9MPa maximum); separation of different volumes (representing core barrel, reactor citadel and other Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) volumes); thermal protection of carbon steel vessels by using thermal insulation; allowing for diverse thermal expansion coefficients of different materials; allowing for depressurization events within the insulation and internals; having access for temperature, pressure, stress and proximity sensors and electrical wiring through high pressure penetrations; and provision for assembly of the hot internals both on and off-site. Several thermal analyses using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) were performed to evaluate both worst-case and operational conditions of the UUTs. Factors that were considered include thermal insulation properties, heat transfer modes (internal radiation, external radiation and natural convection, forced internal convection for cooling) and operating pressure (ranging from 1 to 9MPa). The thermal design uses elements originally proposed for hot gas duct design. The results obtained show that the proposed design satisfies ASME VIII requirements of the pressure boundary and that all challenges are successfully met.

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