Heavy liquid metal natural circulation in a one-dimensional loop

G. Coccoluto, P. Gaggini, V. Labanti, M. Tarantino, W. Ambrosini, N. Forgione, A. Napoli, F. Oriolo

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The ENEA Brasimone Research Centre since 1999 is strongly involved in the national and European research programmes performed in the field of heavy liquid metal technology aiming at the development of critical (LFR) and subcritical (ADS) nuclear systems. In particular, in the frame of the IP-EUROTRANS, (6th Framework Program EU), ENEA assumed the commitment to perform an integral experiment with the aim to reproduce the primary flow path of a HLM pool-type nuclear reactor, cooled by lead bismuth eutectics (LBE). This new experimental activity, named ICE "Integral Circulation Experiment", will be performed by an appropriate test section designed to be installed in the CIRCE facility. In order to support the ICE activity, as well as characterize the natural and gas enhanced circulation flow regimes in a HLM loop, qualify test procedures and components which are nuclear relevant, a new facility was designed and built-up by Brasimone Research Centre, named NACIE "NAtural CIrculation Experiment". The paper reports a detailed description of the loop and the main experimental results carried out from the natural circulation tests already performed on the NACIE loop. Numerical simulations have been performed in collaboration with the University of Pisa, adopting the RELAP5/Mod3.3 system code modified to allow for LBE as a cooling fluid. The aim of the performed post-test calculations is to compare the code response with the experimental results under the natural circulation flow regime, allowing to qualify the adopted nodalization as well as the performance of the code when employed on HLM loop. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1301 - 1309
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

Cite this

Coccoluto, G., Gaggini, P., Labanti, V., Tarantino, M., Ambrosini, W., Forgione, N., Napoli, A., & Oriolo, F. (2011). Heavy liquid metal natural circulation in a one-dimensional loop. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 241(5), 1301 - 1309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucengdes.2010.06.048