Thermal stratification in a scaled-down suppression pool of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants

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Abstract

Thermal stratification in the suppression pool of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants was experimentally investigated in sub-atmospheric pressure conditions using a 1/20 scale torus shaped setup. The thermal stratification was reproduced in the scaled-down suppression pool and the effect of the steam flow rate on different thermal stratification behaviors was examined for a wide range of steam flow rates. A sparger-type steam injection pipe that emulated Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 (F1U3) was used. The steam was injected horizontally through 132 holes. The development (formation and disappearance) of thermal stratification was significantly affected by the steam flow rate. Interestingly, the thermal stratification in the suppression pool vanished when subcooling became lower than approximately 5 °C. This occurred because steam bubbles are not well condensed at low subcooling temperatures; therefore, those bubbles generate significant upward momentum, leading to mixing of the water in the suppression pool.

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Jo, B., Erkan, N., Takahashi, S., Song, D., Sagawa, W., & Okamoto, K. (2016). Thermal stratification in a scaled-down suppression pool of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 305, 39–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.05.017

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