In the case of loss of the residual heat removal system under mid-loop operation during shutdown of the pressurized water reactor (PWR) plant, steam generated in a reactor core and condensed water in a steam generator (SG) form a countercurrent flow in a hot leg. In this study, in order to improve a counter-current flow model of a transient analysis code, experiments were conducted using a scale-down model of the PWR hot leg, and flow patterns and counter-current flow limitation (CCFL) characteristics were measured. A rectangular duct, whose height is about 1/5th of the hot leg diameter, was used to simulate the hot leg, and air and water at atmospheric pressure and room temperature were used for gas and liquid phases. In the horizontal section, as air flow rate QG increases, the flow pattern transits from a stratified flow to wavy flow, and then wavy to wavy-mist flow. When the latter transition takes place, water flow from the horizontal duct to the lower tank is to be restricted. Flow patterns in the elbow section are the same as those in the horizontal section. Wavy flow is not formed in the inclined section, where the transition to wavy-mist flow occurs due to the inflow of wavy-mist flow generated in the horizontal section. Flow patterns in the elbow and inclined section are strongly affected by those in the horizontal section. CCFL characteristics are well correlated with the Wallis-type correlation, and the onset of CCFL well corresponds to the transition from wavy flow to wavy-mist flow.

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