In this work the activity performed at the DICI (Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Industriale) of the Pisa University in collaboration with the ENEA Brasimone Research Centre is presented. In particular the document deals with the application of an in-house developed coupling methodology between a modified version of RELAP5/Mod3.3 and Fluent commercial CFD code, to the NACIE (Natural Circulation Experiment) LBE experimental loop (built and located at the ENEA Brasimone research centre).

The first part of the document treats the description of the NACIE loop type facility, while in the second part, the developed coupling tool is presented and the obtained numerical results are compared to stand alone RELAP5 results and to data obtained from the NACIE experimental campaign. The experimental tests are performed varying the argon flow rate and the electric power supplied to the heater and both natural and assisted circulation tests are investigated. The numerical model set-up is based on a two-way explicit coupling scheme and 2D and 3D geometrical domain were investigated.

Comparative analyses among numerical and experimental results showed good agreement, giving positive feedback on the feasibility and capability of the developed coupling methodology.

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