This paper presents the results of an experimental model study of the transient loading of steam generator tubes during a postulated main steam line break (MSLB) accident in a nuclear power plant. The problem involves complex transient two-phase flow dynamics and fluid-structural loading processes. A better understanding of this phenomenon will permit the development of improved design tools to ensure steam generator tube integrity. The pressure and temperature were measured upstream and downstream of a sectional model of a tube bundle in cross-flow, and the transient tube loads were directly measured using dynamic piezoelectric load cells. High-speed videos were taken to observe and better understand the flow phenomena causing the tube loading. The working fluid was R-134a and the tube bundle was a normal triangular array with a pitch ratio of 1.36. The flow through the bundle was choked for the majority of the transient. The transient tube loading is explained in terms of the associated fluid mechanics. An empirical model is developed that enables the prediction of the maximum tube loads once the pressure drop is known.

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