The bypass flow in a prismatic high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) is the flow that occurs between adjacent graphite blocks. Gaps exist between blocks due to variances in their manufacture and installation and because of the expansion and shrinkage of the blocks from heating and irradiation. Although the temperature of fuel compacts and graphite is sensitive to the presence of bypass flow, there is great uncertainty in the level and effects of the bypass flow. The Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) program at the Idaho National Laboratory has undertaken to produce experimental data of isothermal bypass flow between three adjacent graphite blocks. These data are intended to provide validation for computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analyses of the bypass flow. Such validation data sets are called Standard Problems in the nuclear safety analysis field. Details of the experimental apparatus as well as several pre-test calculations of the bypass flow are provided. Pre-test calculations are useful in examining the nature of the flow and to see if there are any problems associated with the flow and its measurement. The apparatus is designed to be able to provide three different gap widths in the vertical direction (the direction of the normal coolant flow) and two gap widths in the horizontal direction. It is expected that the vertical bypass flow will range from laminar to transitional to turbulent flow for the different gap widths that will be available.

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