The goal of this research is to improve our understanding of the effects of a postulated Main Steam-Line Break on the transient loading of nuclear steam generator tubes. The analysis of this problem deals with the complex coupling of rapid transient two-phase flow dynamics and fluid-structural loading processes. A main concern of nuclear reactor safety is to ensure that radioactive materials produced by nuclear fission are safely contained. This type of accident produces a ‘blowdown’ in which the pressurised water in the steam generator is boiled off in a few seconds. The resulting transient loading on the steam generator tubing could lead to their rupture, resulting in the release of radioactive materials out of containment. A better understanding of this phenomenon will permit the development of improved design tools to ensure steam generator safety in the event of such an accident. This paper presents a work in progress, describing the purpose-built experimental facility and a summary of commissioning results, including an evaluation of the instrumentation and data collection methodology. The final results of this research will provide physical insights and guidance for the development of predictive modelling tools.

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