During the material relocation phase of core disruptive accidents in sodium-cooled fast reactors, the rapid quenching and fragmentation of molten materials discharged from the reactor core into the lower plenum region can lead to the formation of debris beds. Coolant boiling may lead to leveling of the mound-shaped beds, which changes both the beds' coolability with decay heat in the fuel and the neutronic characteristics. In this study, a series of experiments using simulant materials were performed to develop an experimental database of self-leveling processes of particle beds in a cylindrical system. To simulate the coolant boiling in the beds in the experiments, a gas injection method was used to percolate nitrogen gas uniformly through the base of a bed with a conical-shaped mound. Time variations in bed height during the self-leveling process were measured for different particle sizes, densities and sphericities, and gas injection velocities. Using a dimensional analysis approach, a new model was proposed. This model correlates the experimental data on transient bed height with an empirical equation using a characteristic time for self-leveling development and an equilibrium bed height. The proposed model reasonably predicts the self-leveling development of particle beds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering