CFD and experimental investigation of sloshing parameters for the safety assessment of HLM reactors

Konstantinos Myrillas, Philippe Planquart, Alessia Simonits, Marc Schyns, Buchlin Jean-Marie

    Research outputpeer-review


    For the safety assessment of Heavy Liquid Metal nuclear reactors under seismic excitation, sloshing phe-nomena can be of great concern. The earthquake motions are transferred to the liquid coolant which oscillates inside the vessel, exerting additional forces on the walls and internal structures. The present study examines the case of MYRRHA, a multi-purpose experimental reactor with LBE as coolant, devel-oped by SCK蚡CEN. The sloshing behavior of liquid metals is studied through a comparison between mer-cury and water in a cylindrical tank. Experimental investigation of sloshing is carried out using optical techniques with the shaking table facility SHAKESPEARE at the von Karman Institute. Emphasis is given on the resonance case, where maximum forces occur on the tank walls. The experimental cases are repro-duced numerically with the CFD software OpenFOAM, using the VOF method to track the liquid interface. The non-linear nature of sloshing is observed through visualization, where swirling is shown in the res-onance case. The complex behavior is well reproduced by the CFD simulations, providing good qualitative validation of the numerical tools. A quantitative comparison of the maximum liquid elevation inside the tank shows higher values for the liquid metal than for water. Some discrepancies are revealed in CFD results and the differences are quantified. From simulations it is verified that the forces scale with the density ratio, following similar evolution in time. Overall, water is demonstrated to be a valid option as a working liquid in order to evaluate the sloshing effects, for forcing frequencies up to resonance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-326
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016

    Cite this