We have been developing a void fraction distribution measurement technique using the three-dimensional (3D) time-averaged X-ray CT (computed tomography) system to understand two-phase flow behavior inside a fuel assembly for BWR (boiling water reactor) thermal hydraulic conditions of 7.2 MPa and 288 °C. Unlike CT images of a normal standstill object, we can obtain 3D CT images that are reconstructed from time-averaged X-ray projection data of the intermittent two-phase flow. We measured the 3D void fraction distribution in a vertical square (5 × 5) rod array that simulated a BWR fuel assembly in the air-water test. From the 3D time-averaged CT images, we confirmed that the void fraction at the center part of the channel box was higher than that near the channel box wall, and the local void fraction at the central region of a subchannel was higher than that at the gap region of the subchannel. A comparison of the volume-averaged void fractions evaluated by the developed X-ray CT system with those evaluated by a differential pressure transducer in a void fraction range from 0.05 to 0.40 showed satisfactory agreement within a difference of 0.03.

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