A pressurized water reactor (PWR) incorporates a passive auxiliary feedwater system (PAFS), a closed natural circulation loop which is aligned to feed condensed water to its corresponding steam generator (SG). During its operation, saturated steam in the SG secondary side moves up due to buoyancy force and passes through a steam line, and then flows into a tube-tank type passive condensation heat exchanger (PCHX) where steam is condensed inside the tubes while the tube outer surfaces are cooled by the pool water. The condensate water is passively fed into the bottom of the SG secondary side by gravity. Because a natural circulation loop is susceptible to two-phase flow instability, it is requisite to confirm the system is designed adequately to avoid the potential challenges to its operational safety due to the instability. This paper presents an analytical approach for assessing if the PAFS has possible thermal and fluid mechanical characteristics which could lead to an undesirable unstable or oscillating condensate water level in the vertical pipe section. Both steady and unsteady analytical solutions for a simplified natural circulation loop model of the PAFS were derived in terms of the condensate water level and velocity in the vertical pipe section. From the solutions, the criteria for determining a potential for flow instability in the system were obtained.
Analytical Study of Flow Instability in a Natural Circulation Pressurized Water Reactor Auxiliary Feedwater System1
Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received February 19, 2014; final manuscript received June 30, 2014; published online October 15, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Samir Ziada.
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Chull Jo, J., Moody, F. J., and Sik Do, K. (October 15, 2014). "Analytical Study of Flow Instability in a Natural Circulation Pressurized Water Reactor Auxiliary Feedwater System." ASME. J. Pressure Vessel Technol. April 2015; 137(2): 024501. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4027948
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