Natural circulation in a liquid metal one-dimensional loop

M. Tarantino, S. De Grandis, G. Benamati, F. Oriolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


A wide use of pure lead, as well as its alloys (such as lead-bismuth, lead-lithium), is foreseen in several nuclear-related fields: it is studied as coolant in critical and sub-critical nuclear reactors, as spallation target for neutron generation in several applications and for tritium generation in fusion systems. In this framework, a new facility named NAtural CIrculation Experiment (NACIE), has been designed at ENEA-Brasimone Research Centre. NACIE is a rectangular loop, made by stainless steel pipes. It consists mainly of a cold and hot leg and an expansion tank installed on the top of the loop. A fuel bundle simulator, made by three electrical heaters placed in a triangular lattice, is located in the lower part of the cold leg, while a tube in tube heat exchanger is installed in the upper part of the hot leg. The adopted secondary fluid is THT oil, while the foreseen primary fluid for the tests is lead-bismuth in eutectic composition (LBE). The aim of the facility is to carry out experimental tests of natural circulation and collect data on the heat transfer coefficient (HTC) for heavy liquid metal flowing through rod bundles. The paper is focused on the preliminary estimation of the LBE flow rate along the loop. An analytical methodology has been applied, solving the continuity, momentum and energy transport equations under appropriate hypothesis. Moreover numerical simulations have been performed. The FLUENT 6.2 CFD code has been utilized for the numerical simulations. The main results carried out from the pre-tests simulations are illustrated in the paper, and a comparison with the theoretical estimations is done. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409 - 414
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

Tarantino, M., De Grandis, S., Benamati, G., & Oriolo, F. (2008). Natural circulation in a liquid metal one-dimensional loop. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 376(3), 409 - 414.