Evaluation of accidental sodium leak, combustion, and its thermal consequence is one of the important issues to be assessed in the field of sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) since the liquid sodium is chemically active and might give thermal load to plant building structure due to its exothermic reaction with oxygen in air atmosphere. Therefore, many experimental investigations and numerical simulation tools development have been and still now are being carried out to understand the details of sodium fire behaviors and to contribute to the investigation and preparation of appropriate mitigation measures in the plant design.
From various kinds of sodium fire situations, the present paper treats the sodium pool fire and subsequent heat transfer behavior in air atmosphere two-cell geometry both experimentally and analytically because such two-cell configuration is considered as the typical one to possess important characteristic of multi-compartment system seen in an actual plant. Main description of this paper consists of a sodium pool fire experiment that was performed in a rectangular-shaped two-cell system with an opening between the cells, and the discussion of the experimental results. Inner volume of the experimental cells is about 70 m3. The amount of used sodium and the prepared pool surface area in the experiment are about 55 kg and 2.25 m2, respectively. The experiment has provided the temperature data measured in more than 100 positions for atmospheric gas and structures other than the data of oxygen concentration and suspended sodium aerosols concentration in the cells. The analyses of the measured data clarify the basic characteristics of sodium pool combustion and consequential heat and mass transfer in the cells, for instance, suggesting several features of multidimensional thermal-hydraulic behaviors such as thermal stratification near the opening between the two cells. In the discussion, numerical analysis using a lumped-parameter based zonal model safety analysis code ‘SPHINCS’ and the comparison of its results with the experimental data are also carried out to investigate the validity and applicability of the code to this type of sodium fire situation.