Research Papers

Exploring the Use of Alumina Nanofluid as Emergency Coolant for Nuclear Fuel Bundle

[+] Author and Article Information
A. S. Chinchole

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay 400085, Mumbai
e-mail: abhishek.chinchole@gmail.com

Arnab Dasgupta

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay 400085, Mumbai
e-mail: arnie@barc.gov.in

P. P. Kulkarni

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay 400085, Mumbai
e-mail: parimalk@barc.gov.in

D. K. Chandraker

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay 400085, Mumbai
e-mail: dineshkc@barc.gov.in

A. K. Nayak

Reactor Engineering Division,
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay 400085, Mumbai
e-mail: arunths@barc.gov.in

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF THERMAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING APPLICATIONS. Manuscript received February 18, 2018; final manuscript received August 29, 2018; published online November 5, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Mohamed S. El-Genk. This work was prepared while under employment by the Government of India as part of the official duties of the author(s) indicated above, as such copyright is owned by that Government, which reserves its own copyright under national law.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 11(2), 021007 (Nov 05, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: TSEA-18-1090; doi: 10.1115/1.4041441 History: Received February 18, 2018; Revised August 29, 2018

Nanofluids are suspensions of nanosized particles in any base fluid that show significant enhancement of their heat transfer properties at modest nanoparticle concentrations. Due to enhanced thermal properties at low nanoparticle concentration, it is a potential candidate for utilization in nuclear heat transfer applications. In the last decade, there have been few studies which indicate possible advantages of using nanofluids as a coolant in nuclear reactors during normal as well as accidental conditions. In continuation with these studies, the utilization of nanofluids as a viable candidate for emergency core cooling in nuclear reactors is explored in this paper by carrying out experiments in a scaled facility. The experiments carried out mainly focus on quenching behavior of a simulated nuclear fuel rod bundle by using 1% Alumina nanofluid as a coolant in emergency core cooling system (ECCS). In addition, its performance is compared with water. In the experiments, nuclear decay heat (from 1.5% to 2.6% reactor full power) is simulated through electrical heating. The present experiments show that, from heat transfer point of view, alumina nanofluids have a definite advantage over water as coolant for ECCS. Additionally, to assess the suitability of using nanofluids in reactors, their stability was investigated in radiation field. Our tests showed good stability even after very high dose of radiation, indicating the feasibility of their possible use in nuclear reactor heat transfer systems.

Copyright © 2019 by Government of India
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Fig. 1

Geometric cross section of fuel rod bundle

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Fig. 2

(a) Schematic of the wetting facility, (b) heater rod, and (c) cluster cross section showing orientation of injection holes. From Dasgupta et al. [24].

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Fig. 3

Temperature transient (pin 8) with water and 1% alumina nanofluid during quenching for flow of 500 lph and cluster power 15 kW

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Fig. 4

For temperature transient (pin 8) with water and 1% alumina nanofluid during quenching for flow of 500 lph and cluster power 11.5 kW

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Fig. 5

Temperature transient (pin 16) with water and 1% alumina nanofluid during quenching for flow of 500 lph and cluster power 11.5 kW

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Fig. 6

ECC flow map for limiting peak clad temperature within 500 °C: (a) water and (b) 1% alumina nanofluid

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Fig. 7

TEM images of Al2O3 nanofluids in the range 10–100 nm: (a) before injection and (b) after injection

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Fig. 8

TEM image of (a) irradiated (76kGy) sample and (b) nonirradiated sample



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