In nuclear power plants power actuated pressure relief valves serve several purposes. They act as safety valves and open automatically in response to unusually high pressures in the primary system. They also act as power operated valves and are used to relieve steam in response to automatic or manually initiated control signals. These valves are required to lift completely over a short duration from the time that they receive an actuation signal, or the system pressure exceeds the set point. This short lift time results in the valve disk moving at high velocities, and can result in high impact forces on the piston and stem when the valve fully opens.

To quantitatively evaluate the dynamic performance of the Target Rocket Pressure Relief Valve, an analysis effort was undertaken which would accommodate both the fluid dynamic features of the valve operation, as well as the kinematic characteristics of the valve, during pressure relief valve operation.

To execute the analysis, the Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program (GFSSP) was used. GFSSP is a network flow solver CFD code developed by NASA that has the ability to analyze transient, multi-phase flows, and conjugate heat transfer, along with the inclusion of custom user subroutines developed by the user which can accommodate other simulation requirements.

In this paper we present the GFSSP model developed, and the computed results that could be compared with corresponding parameters as measured from experimental testing for the pressure relief valve. Adjustments to GFSSP input parameters allow the anchoring of the GFSSP valve model to test data. This makes it possible to use the GFSSP model as a predictive tool for understanding valve dynamics, as well as evaluating proposed pressure relief valve modifications for performance improvements.

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