A study of thermal influence on heat-transfer tubes in sodium-water reactions is carried out to evaluate the tube rupture due to overheating in the water leak accident of an LMFBR steam generator (SG). By assuming the sodium-water reaction jet to be a two-phase flow that consists of sodium and hydrogen, the heat-transfer characteristics are examined and a simple model of effective heat-transfer coefficient (HTC) is proposed for the safety evaluation of the SG. Comparison of the model with experimental data leads to the following conclusions: An upper limit exists in the HTC between reaction jet and tube wall, and it is equivalent in approximation to the HTC of single-phase sodium flow. The HTC can be written in simple form as functions of the HTC of single-phase sodium flow, void fraction and temperatures of sodium, hydrogen and tube wall. Hydrogen provides negligible heating effect, so that the apparent HTC would decrease with increase of the hydrogen temperature that can readily surpass that of sodium. The outer-surface temperature of tube wall would not rise so high beyond the temperature of sodium that is excellent in heat-transfer characteristics, even if tube wall is exposed to the high-temperature hydrogen. The transient heat conduction analysis with the mean value of the data can appropriately evaluate the outer-surface temperature of tube wall by the metallographic observation, while the analysis with the maximum value can conservatively evaluate the tube wall temperature.

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