As the first developmental step of the sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) in China, the pool-type China Experimental Fast Reactor (CEFR) is equipped with the openings and inter-wrapper space in the core, which act as an important part of the decay heat removal system. The accurate prediction of coolant flow in the reactor core calls for complete three-dimensional calculations. In the present study, an investigation of thermal-hydraulic behaviors in a 180° full core model similar to that of CEFR was carried out using commercial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. The actual geometries of the peripheral core baffle, fluid channels and narrow inter-wrapper gap were built up, and numerous subassemblies (SAs) were modeled as the porous medium with appropriate resistance and radial power distribution. First, the three-dimensional flow and temperature distributions in the full core under normal operating condition are obtained and quantitatively analyzed. And then the effect of inter-wrapper flow (IWF) on heat transfer performance is evaluated. In addition, the detailed flow path and direction in local inter-wrapper space including the internal and outlet regions are captured. This work can provide some valuable understanding of the core thermal-hydraulic phenomena for the research and design of SFRs.

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