Under severe accidents, the reactor pressure vessel is flooded with water and the residual heat is removed by two-phase natural circulation through the flow channel between the reactor vessel and thermal insulation. If the heat flux of the outer wall is lower than local critical heat flux, the residual heat can be removed, and if the heat flux of the outer wall is higher than local critical heat flux, the reactor pressure vessel should be molten. For AP-type reactors, like AP1000 and CAP1400, critical heat flux of the reactor pressure vessel is the heat transfer limits of residual heat under severe accidents. Previous studies indicate that after severe accident a two-layer molten pool can be formed, namely metallic layer and oxide layer. Compared with oxide layer, in metallic layer, the heat flux more easily exceeds the heat transfer limits due to its low thermal resistance.
In this study, an approach was proposed to enhance local critical heat flux. This approach is expected to be used in local area around reactor pressure wall, like metallic layer, to increase the reactor pressure vessel intact probability under severe accidents. In this new approach, injection flow channels are added to the present flow channel by adding simple flow pipes from insulation near 60 to 80 degree where exceeding critical heat flux is most likely to happen. The fluid flow under external reactor vessel cooling (ERVC) condition is divided into two parts: one part is from downward (0 degree) to upward (90 degree) along the curved reactor pressure vessel and the other part is from injection pipe (about 70 degree) to upward. The fluid temperature from injection pipe is lower than that from downward due to residual heat from the reactor pressure wall. And hence, the local critical heat flux is likely to increase because of inject turbulence and low fluid temperature.
An experimental facility is conducted to study the mechanism of injection influence on critical heat flux under normal pressure condition. There are two main loops in this facility: one is main loop while the other is injection loop. The test section is an inclined downward heated rectangular channel with its inclined angle varied from 0 degree to 90 degree. Flow and thermal conditions are listed: in main loop, mass flow velocity ranging from 100kg/m2s to 600kg/m2s with fluid temperature from 90 °C to 105 °C; In injection loop, mass flow velocity ranging from 0 to 600 kg/m2s with fluid temperature from 85 °C to 105 °C. Under the above condition, with and without injection flow, critical heat flux experiments were conducted. It indicates that injection velocity has great effect on critical heat flux, while injection subcooled has little effect. The critical heat flux can be increased by 0.07MW/m2 to 0.33MW/m2 depending on various injection velocities and main loop conditions.