In this study we describe an experimental system designed to simulate the conditions of transient freezing which can occur in abnormal behaviour of molten salt reactors (MSRs). Freezing of coolant is indeed one of the main technical challenges preventing the deployment of MSR. First a novel experimental technique is presented by which it is possible to accurately track the growth of the solidified layer of fluid near a cold surface in an internal flow of liquid. This scenario simulates the possible solidification of a molten salt coolant over a cold wall inside the piping system of the MSR. Specifically, we conducted measurements using water as a simulant for the molten salt, and liquid nitrogen to achieve high heat removal rate at the wall. Particle image velocimetry and planar induced fluorescence were used as diagnostic techniques to track the growth of the solid layer. In addition this study describes a thermo-hydraulic model which has been used to characterise transient freezing in internal flow and compares the said model with the experiments. The numerical simulations were shown to be able to capture qualitatively and quantitatively all the essential processes involved in internal flow transient freezing. Accurate numerical predictive tools such the one presented in this work are essential in simulating the behaviour of MSR under accident conditions.

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