This paper presents combined computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and discrete element method (DEM) simulations of fluid flow and relevant heat transfer in the pebble bed reactor core. In the pebble bed reactor core, the coolant passes highly complicated flow channels, which are formed by thousands of pebbles in a random way. The random packing structure of pebbles is crucial to CFD simulations results. The realistic packing structure in an entire pebble bed reactor (PBR) is generated by discrete element method (DEM). While in CFD calculations, selection of the turbulence models have great importance in accuracy and capturing the details of the flow features, in our numerical simulations both large eddy simulation (LES) and Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) models are employed to investigate the effects of different turbulence models on gas flow field and relevant heat transfer. The calculations indicate the complex flow structure within the voids between the pebbles.

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