Purdue University Graduate School
FINAL_THESIS.pdf (1.19 MB)

Assessment of Subcooled Choking Flow Models in RELAP5 with Experimental Data in Simulated Steam Generator Tube Cracks

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posted on 2019-01-03, 19:22 authored by Mark A. BrownMark A. Brown
Choking flow plays an integral part not only in the engineered safeguards of a nuclear power plant (NPP), but also to everyday operation. Current pressurized water reactor steam generators operate on the leak-before-break approach. The ability to predict and estimate a leak rate through a steam generator tube crack is an important safety parameter. Knowledge of the maximum flow rate through a crack in the steam generator tube allows the coolant inventory to be monitored accordingly. Here an assessment of the choking flow models in thermal-hydraulics code RELAP5/MOD3.3 is performed and its suitability to predict choking flow rates through small simulated cracks of steam generator tubes is evaluated based on collected experimental data. Six samples of the data were studied in this work which correspond to steam generator tube crack
samples 6-11. Each sample has a wall thickness, channel length (L), of 1.14 mm. Exit areas of these samples, 6-11, are 2.280E-06 m^2, 2.493E-06 m^2, 1.997E-06 m^2, 1.337E-06 m^2, and 2.492E-06. Samples 6-11 have a channel length to hydraulics diameter ratio (L/D) between 3.0-5.3. Two separate pressure differentials of 6.89 MPa and 4.13 MPa were applied across the samples with a range of subcooling from 20℃ to 80℃ and 20℃ to 60℃. Flow rates through these samples were modeled using the thermal-hydraulic system code RELAP5/MOD3.3. Simulation results are compared to experimental values and modeling techniques are discussed. It is found that both the Henry-Fauske and Ransom-Trapp models better predict choking mass flux for longer channels.


Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Nuclear Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Shripad T. Revankar

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Rusi P. Taleyarkhan

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Jovica R. Riznic

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