Flexblue® is a 160 MWe, transportable and subsea-based nuclear power unit operating up to 100 m depth several kilometers away from the shore. The concept is based on existing technologies and experience from the oil&gas, civil nuclear and shipbuilding industries. In a post-Fukushima world, its safety features are particularly relevant. The immersion provides inherent protection against most external aggressions including tsunamis, extreme weather conditions and malevolent actions. The vicinity and the availability of an infinite, permanent heat sink – the ocean – enhances the performance of the safety systems which, when designed to operate passively, considerably extend the grace period given to operators in case of accident. The present work investigates seawater natural convection fluid dynamics and heat transfer features, induced by the heating of Flexblue® reactor containment, to evaluate the capabilities of the system to reject the decay power to the exterior in case of an accident. A preliminary lumped parameters approach has been adopted, revealing that the large diameter of the hull (14 m) is such that ranges of validity of empirical correlations for natural convection heat transfer are always exceeded and conditions for their correct application are not satisfied. Hence, a 2D, unsteady CFD analysis has been performed to simulate the natural convection flow in the ocean, thus obtaining predictions for heat flux distribution, hull superficial temperature profile and heat transfer coefficient. Both CFD sensitivity and parametric analyses have been carried out, even if within a 2D approach, to limit the computational burden. The results showed that the heat transfer process is globally satisfactory to ensure the safe cooling of the reactor. A 3D approach and an experimental campaign aimed at validating the CFD results have been planned.

External heat transfer capability of a submerged SMR containment: The Flexblue case

Santinello, M.;Ricotti, M. E.;Ninokata, H.;
2017

Abstract

Flexblue® is a 160 MWe, transportable and subsea-based nuclear power unit operating up to 100 m depth several kilometers away from the shore. The concept is based on existing technologies and experience from the oil&gas, civil nuclear and shipbuilding industries. In a post-Fukushima world, its safety features are particularly relevant. The immersion provides inherent protection against most external aggressions including tsunamis, extreme weather conditions and malevolent actions. The vicinity and the availability of an infinite, permanent heat sink – the ocean – enhances the performance of the safety systems which, when designed to operate passively, considerably extend the grace period given to operators in case of accident. The present work investigates seawater natural convection fluid dynamics and heat transfer features, induced by the heating of Flexblue® reactor containment, to evaluate the capabilities of the system to reject the decay power to the exterior in case of an accident. A preliminary lumped parameters approach has been adopted, revealing that the large diameter of the hull (14 m) is such that ranges of validity of empirical correlations for natural convection heat transfer are always exceeded and conditions for their correct application are not satisfied. Hence, a 2D, unsteady CFD analysis has been performed to simulate the natural convection flow in the ocean, thus obtaining predictions for heat flux distribution, hull superficial temperature profile and heat transfer coefficient. Both CFD sensitivity and parametric analyses have been carried out, even if within a 2D approach, to limit the computational burden. The results showed that the heat transfer process is globally satisfactory to ensure the safe cooling of the reactor. A 3D approach and an experimental campaign aimed at validating the CFD results have been planned.
CFD; Passive safety; SMR; Subsea-based; Transportable; Nuclear Energy and Engineering; Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality; Energy Engineering and Power Technology; Waste Management and Disposal
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1046550
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