Heat transfer on HLM cooled wire-spaced fuel pin bundle simulator in the NACIE-UP facility

Ivan Di Piazza, Morena Angelucci, Ranieri Marinari, Mariano Tarantino, Nicola Forgione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)


The NACIE-UP experimental facility at the ENEA Brasimone Research Centre (Italy) allowed to evaluate the heat transfer coefficient of a wire-spaced fuel bundle cooled by lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE). Lead or lead-bismuth eutectic are very attractive as coolants for the GEN-IV fast reactors due to the good thermo-physical properties and the capability to fulfil the GEN-IV goals. Nevertheless, few experimental data on heat transfer with heavy liquid metals (HLM) are available in literature. Furthermore, just a few data can be identified on the specific topic of wire-spaced fuel bundle cooled by HLM. Additional analysis on thermo-fluid dynamic behaviour of the HLM inside the subchannels of a rod bundle is necessary to support the design and safety assessment of GEN. IV/ADS reactors. In this context, a wire-spaced 19-pin fuel bundle was installed inside the NACIE-UP facility. The pin bundle is equipped with 67 thermocouples to monitor temperatures and analyse the heat transfer behaviour in different sub-channels and axial positions. The experimental campaign was part of the SEARCH FP7 EU project to support the development of the MYRRHA irradiation facility (SCK-CEN). Natural and mixed circulation flow regimes were investigated, with subchannel Reynolds number in the range Re = 1000-10,000 and heat flux in the range q″ = 50-500 kW/m2. Local Nusselt numbers were calculated for five sub-channels in different ranks at three axial positions. Section-averaged Nusselt number was also defined and calculated. Local Nusselt data showed good consistency with some of the correlation existing in literature for heat transfer in liquid metals for rod bundles. Local Nusselt numbers in peripheral ranks are lower, due to the presence of the hexagonal external wrap which affects the temperature profile. The good accuracy of the instrumentation and the error analysis implemented in the post-processing routines guaranteed a good reliability of the results. The data set presented can be used also to validate computer codes for HLM-cooled rod bundles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256 - 267
Number of pages12
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering

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