An earthquake is one of the most serious phenomena to consider for the safety of a nuclear reactor in Japan. Therefore, structural safety of nuclear reactors has been studied and nuclear reactors were contracting with structural safety for a big earthquake. However, it is not enough for safety operation of nuclear reactors because thermal-fluid safety is not confirmed under the earthquake. For instance, behavior of gas-liquid two-phase flow is unknown in seismic conditions. Especially, fluctuation of void fraction is an important factor for the safety operation of the nuclear reactor. In previous work, fluctuation of void faction in bubbly flow was studied experimentally and theoretically to investigate the stability of the bubbly flow. In such studies, flow rate or void fraction fluctuations were given to the steady bubbly flow. In case of the earthquake, the fluctuation is not only the flow rate, but also a body force on the two-phase flow and shear force through the pipe wall. Interactions of gas and liquid through their interface also act on the behavior of the two-phase flow. The fluctuation of the void fraction is not clear for such complicated situation during the earthquake.
Therefore, the behavior of gas-liquid two-phase flow is investigated experimentally and numerically in a series of studies. In this study, to develop the predictive technology of two-phase flow dynamics under earthquake acceleration, a detailed two-phase flow simulation code with an advanced interface tracking method TPFIT (Two-Phase Flow simulation code with Interface Tracking) was expanded to two-phase flow simulation in seismic conditions. In a previous study, we performed a numerical simulation of a two-phase bubbly flow in a horizontal pipe and a vertical bubble motion in a water tank in seismic conditions. And it was confirmed that the modified TPFIT can be applicable to the bubbly flow in seismic conditions.
In this paper, the two-phase bubbly flow in a simulated single-subchannel excited by oscillation acceleration was simulated by using the expanded TPFIT. A calculation domain used in this simulation was a simplified subchannel in a BWR core. And time-series of void fraction distributions were evaluated based on predicted bubble distributions. When no oscillation acceleration was added, void fraction concentrated in a region near the wall. When oscillation acceleration was added, void fraction distribution was changed by time. And coalesces of bubbles occurred in the numerical simulation, and bubbles with relatively large diameter were observed. In the results, complicated void fraction distribution was observed, because the response of void fraction distribution on the oscillation acceleration was dependent on not only imposed acceleration, but also the bubble diameter.