Since the Lead-cooled Fast Reactor (LFR) has been conceptualized in the frame of GEN IV International Forum (GIF), ENEA is strongly involved on the HLM technology development.

Currently ENEA has implemented large competencies and capabilities in the field of HLM thermal-hydraulic, coolant technology, material for high temperature applications, corrosion and material protection, heat transfer and removal, component development and testing, remote maintenance, procedure definition and coolant handling.

In this frame the Integral Circulation Experiment (ICE) test section has been installed into the CIRCE pool facility, and suitable experiments have been carried out aiming to deeply investigate the pool thermal-hydraulic behavior of a HLM cooled pool reactor.

In particular a fuel pin bundle simulator (FPS) has been installed in the CIRCE pool. It has been conceived with a thermal power of about 1 MW and a linear power up to 25kW/m, relevant values for a LMFR. It consist of 37 fuel pins (electrically simulated) placed on a hexagonal lattice with a pitch to diameter ratio of 1.8. The pins have a diameter of 8.2mm and active lengths of 1 m. Along the FPS, three spacer grid properly designed by ENEA have been installed.

The FPS has been deeply instrumented by several thermocouples. In particular three sections of the FPS have been instrumented to monitor the heat transfer coefficient along the bundle as well as the cladding temperature in different rank of sub-channels.

A full characterization of the FPS has been experimentally achieved both under forced and natural circulation, and the main results gained during the run are reported into the paper.

Moreover the paper reports a preliminary analysis and discussion of such results, also in comparison with CFD calculations performed by CFX code.

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