Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has designed and constructed a test facility for reactor coolant pumps (RCPs). The RCP Test Facility (RCPTF) has the capability to test a RCP under the operation condition of an Advanced Power Reactor 1400 MW (APR1400). The design values of the facility are 17.2 MPa, 343 °C, 11.7 m3/s, and 13 MW in maximum pressure, temperature, flow rate, and electrical power, respectively. In the facility, it is possible to perform a type test for a newly-developed RCP as well as a production test for a RCP before its installation in a nuclear power plant. For the production test, H-Q curves under the cold and hot conditions are acquired. For the type test, various transient tests are additionally performed including four types of seal transient tests, a thrust bearing transient test, a cost down test, and so on.

To acquire H-Q curves of a RCP, the flow rate should be controlled by varying the flow resistance in the test loop. The RCPTF uses a Variable Restriction Orifice (VRO) whose flow area can be controlled by moving the two orifice plates installed in-parallel. The need for flow control valves and bypass lines was eliminated using the VRO such that the flow disturbance was minimized. The flow rate in the main loop of the RCPTF is measured by a standard venture flow meter. The flow rate in the RCPTF is very high and thus the venture flow meter could not be calibrated in the entire range of Reynolds number corresponding to the operating condition in the APR1400. The calibration was conducted at the Colorado Experiment Engineering Station Inc. (CEESI) in the USA where natural gas is used for a working fluid. If a discharge coefficient calibrated with the gas is applied in the test results performed using the water as a working fluid, a discrepancy can occur due to the static hole error. Therefore, the static hole error was compensated in the test results and the result shows the improvement.

The effect of the temperature on the pressure pulsation amplitude was also evaluated. During a cold performance test and heat-up phase to the condition of a hot performance test, an abnormal increase in the pressure pulsation amplitude was observed near the specific temperature range. This is acoustic resonance phenomena that occur when a blade passing frequency of the RCP is proportional to the harmonic resonance frequency of the RCPTF.

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