An innovative sodium cooled fast reactor has been investigated as part of the fast reactor cycle technology development (FaCT) project. In the reactor, a compact reactor vessel (R/V) with increased sodium flow velocity was designed to reduce the construction cost. One of the thermal hydraulic problems in this design is gas entrainment at the free surface in the R/V. In most of past studies, water experiments were performed to investigate the gas entrainment in the reactor. It is necessary to evaluate an influence of fluid physical property on the gas entrainment phenomena. In this study, sodium experiments were carried out to clarify the onset criteria of the gas entrainment due to a free surface vortex. Water experiments using a test section in which geometry is the same as that in the sodium tests were also performed. The gas entrainment in water slightly tended to take place in comparison with that in sodium under low velocity conditions. Overall onset condition map on lateral and downward flow velocities in the sodium and water experiments were in good agreement.

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