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Hydraulic and statistical study of metastable phenomena in PWR rod bundles

Abstract : The analysis of fuel rod bundle flows constitutes a key element of Pressurized-Water Reactors (PWR) safety studies. The present work aims at improving our understanding of nefarious reorganisation phenomena observed by numerous studies in the flow large-scale structures. 3D simulations allowed identifying two distinct reorganisations consisting in a sign change for either a transverse velocity in rod-to-rod gaps or for a subchannel vortex. A Taylor “frozen turbulence” hypothesis was adopted to model the evolution of large-scale 3D structures as transported-2D. A statistical method was applied to the 2D field to determine its thermodynamically stable states through an optimization problem. Similarities were obtained between the PWR coherent structures and the stable states in a simplified 2D geometry. Further, 2D simulations allowed identifying two possible flow bifurcations, each related to one of the reorganisations observed in 3D simulations, laying the foundations for a physical explanation of this phenomenon.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 10:37:08 AM
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Florian Muller. Hydraulic and statistical study of metastable phenomena in PWR rod bundles. EPJ N - Nuclear Sciences & Technologies, EDP Sciences, 2020, 6, pp.6. ⟨10.1051/epjn/2019057⟩. ⟨cea-03238515⟩



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