INPRO Collaborative Project COOL Nearing Completion

May 17, 2011

INPRO Collaborative Project COOL Nearing Completion

The INPRO Collaborative Project on "Investigation of Technological Challenges related to Removal of Heat by Liquid Metal and Molten Salt Coolants from Reactor Cores Operating at High Temperatures" (COOL) is nearing completion.

Launched in 2008, the COOL project recently held its fourth and last meeting at the IAEA. Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy and Republic of Korea have been participants in the project.

"This collaborative project has been investigating the cooling of reactor cores that operate at high temperature up to 1000 C", explains Mr Leonhard Meyer of INPRO, Scientific Secretary of the project. "The focus is on liquid metals and molten salts for use in high temperature reactors, advanced fast reactors and accelerator driven systems", he adds.

Chaired by Mr N.K. Maheshwari of India, the 4th meeting of the COOL project was an opportunity for the project participants to present their national activities, review work results and discuss the project's final report.

India presented Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) studies on heat transfer with liquid metals using the PHOENICS-3.6 code as well as results of code calculations on natural convection heat transfer from a horizontal cylinder placed in a rectangular pool filled with sodium.

Germany briefed the participants on the Advanced Gas-cooled Accelerator-driven Transmutation Experiment (AGATE) and on materials compatibility with Lead-Bismuth. AGATE is a joint venture between German research centres, the Siemens company and the University of Aachen.

The Republic of Korea reported about pressure drop and heat transfer experiments with molten salt FLiNaK, a salt mixture with high melting and boiling points, as well as results from heat transfer experiments, where molten salt is flowing in an inner tube heated by argon gas flowing counter current in an outer tube.

China's Experimental Fast Reactor (CERF) is being commissioned and power will be increased stepwise. The safe removal of decay heat by natural convection is of high importance and thus it is necessary that the flow resistance in the cooling loop be well known under all conditions. At the meeting, the participant from China outlined the results from pressure drop tests in a CEFR subassembly, performed with water in the turbulent flow regime.

Italy gave an update on activities of the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) related to the COOL project. Twenty-three tests with natural and gas enhanced circulation were performed in the NACIE test facility with Lead-Bismuth Eutectic (an eutectic alloy of lead (44.5%) and bismuth (55.5%) used as a coolant in some nuclear reactors) at average temperatures between 270 C and 390 C of one heated rod; results were then compared with results from four different heat transfer correlations.

Brazil's numerical investigation of the kinetics of an Accelerator Driven System (ADS) was also discussed.

It is planned that the project’s final report will address the following topics:

  1. Thermo-physical properties of coolants;
  2. Pressure drop correlations for liquid metals;
  3. Heat transfer correlations and related CFD studies;
  4. Various applications of CFD and reactor kinetics studies;
  5. Experimental and analytical thermal hydraulic studies;
  6. On-line monitoring control of coolant chemistry;
  7. Experimental study on components and various materials that are in contact with liquid metal during operation.

The final report of the COOL project is now being prepared and will be published by the IAEA in 2012.

More information on this meeting can be found on the web page of the 4th COOL Consultancy Meeting, held at the IAEA on 10-11 May 2011.

Contact: Leonhard Meyer

Additional resources:

INPRO Collaborative Project COOL

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