In the framework of the European Commission LEADER project, an experimental campaign of seven tests was performed in the LIFUS5/Mod2 facility, at ENEA CR Brasimone, for investigating the postulated Steam Generator Tube Rupture (SGTR) event in a relevant configuration for the Spiral-Tube Steam Generator (STSG) of the European Lead Fast Reactor (ELFR).
The LIFUS5/Mod2 facility is composed by a water tank of 15 L injecting subcooled water up to 200 bar into the reaction tank of 100 L (420 mm of diameter), which is connected by a 3 inch pipe to the dump tank of 2 m3. A dedicated test section was designed, assembled and implemented in the reaction tank. It is composed by 188 tubes, vertically disposed with triangular pitch inside a cylindrical support. This tube bundle is representative of a portion of the STSG of ELFR. The cylindrical support is closed at the lower and upper end by two tube plates and has a perforated lateral shell (300 mm of diameter and 400 mm high). The reaction tank is filled by Lead-Bismuth Eutectic alloy (LBE) at 400°C up to the top tube plate, with an argon cover gas at about 2 bar. The water is injected at about 180 bar and 270°C through the central tube, at middle height of the bundle. The water-LBE interaction is characterised by high quality data acquisition system: 6 fast Pressure Transducers (PTs) working at 10 kHz for precisely characterize the first narrow injection peaks, 70 low constant time Thermocouples (TCs) to understand the vapour evolution path and 13 strain gages (SGGs) for measuring the strain of the bundle and main vessel.
The overall LEADER experimental campaign is constituted by seven tests, divided in three series (B1, B2 and B3), characterized by different injection orifice diameters of 4, 8.9 and 12.6 mm, respectively. This paper presents the experimental results of the first two tests of series B2 (B2.1 and B2.2) having 8.9 mm of injection orifice.
The first test analysed showed a first narrow pressure peak of about 32 bar, some milliseconds after the cap rupture instant. The following pressurization due to the evaporation of water entered into the reaction vessel was of an analogues magnitude for both the tests (about 50 bar) and lasted some tenths of second. The water/LBE interaction lower temperature was reached on the inner ranks of tubes, about 150°C. The outer rank was cooled down to about 300°C. The strain gage measurements showed a decreasing deformation on the tubes toward the outer positions. No ruptures were observed on tubes surrounding the injector. The amount of LBE transported into the dump tank was strongly dependent on the LBE level in the reaction tank at the start of the tests and about 200 kg.