Experimental investigation of steam condensation in water tank at sub-atmospheric pressure

Dahmane Mazed, Rosa Lo Frano, Donato Aquaro, Daniele Del Serra, Igor Sekachev, Marco Olcese

    Research outputpeer-review


    The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Vacuum Vessel Pressure Suppression System (VVPSS) limits the Vacuum Vessel (VV) internal pressure, in case of loss of coolant (LOCA) or other pressurizing accidents from the in-vessel components, to 150 kPa (abs). This is key safety function because a large internal pressure could lead to a breach of the primary confinement barrier. Safety is ensured by discharging the steam evolved during the accident event to the VVPSS suppression tanks where it is condensed. Steam condensation occurs at sub-atmospheric pressure condition. Moreover, being this latter not standard for traditional nuclear systems, this investigation is quite new (not studied in detail before) and deals with an experimental investigation of the direct contact condensation at VVPSS prototypical thermal-hydraulic conditions. To the purpose, a small-scale experimental rig was properly designed and built at Lab. B. Guerrini of DICIUniversity of Pisa as well as different temperature, pressure and steam mass (flow rate per hole) conditions and sparger patterns have been investigated. The experimental test matrix is also presented in this study. The obtained results show high efficiency of condensation for all examined conditions. The main condensation regimes at sub-atmospheric pressure conditions were identified. In addition, a comparison was done between the condensation regimes experimentally determined and those available in the literature, which were obtained at atmospheric pressure. Finally, results demonstrated to be representative of the real configuration at ITER reactor.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)241-254
    Number of pages14
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    StatePublished - 15 Aug 2018

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