Modern concepts of nuclear power reactor systems are equipped with passive systems for decay heat removal. Examples are the pool of the emergency condenser (BWR-1000) or the pool of the ESBWR. These systems operate without active influence from outside. The questions arise: How reliable are the based physical mechanisms? Are they understood completely? Are actual models able to describe the phenomena? In different passive systems the energy is transferred by natural circulation into large pools which are considered as infinite heat sink. The paper deals with experiments and with CFD simulations to investigate the capability of actual CFD codes to describe these phenomena. In the FZ Dresden-Rossendorf at the facility TOPFLOW heating-up tests of an emergency condenser were performed. During these tests also the temperature courses on the secondary side of the pool were recorded. The data recording comprises periods starting from single phase liquid until steam on the secondary pool side was found. During these experiments temperature stratification phenomena were observed, which were found in earlier small scale tests. In the paper also these small scale experiments are described. A detailed CFD analysis of these experiments was performed. An explanation of the observed phenomena on the basis of the small scale tests and the CFD simulations is presented.

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