Experimental investigation of spray induced gas stratification break-up and mixing in two interconnected vessels

Nejdet Erkan, Ralf Kapulla, Guillaume Mignot, Robert Zboray, Domenico Paladino

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    19 Scopus citations


    To analyze the effect of containment spray on gas mixing and depressurization, two experiments (ST3-1 and ST3-2) were performed with two interconnected vessels. These experiments were conducted in the frame of the OECD/SETH-2 project using the PANDA facility. The vessels were preconditioned such that a helium-rich layer is formed in the upper section of the first vessel, henceforth referred to as Vessel-1. In the case of the first experiment (ST3-1), the remaining volume of Vessel-1 and the entirety of the second vessel, Vessel-2, were filled with pure steam. For ST3-2, the second experiment presented here, pure steam was replaced with a steam-air mixture instead. Water was injected from the top of Vessel-1 with a spray nozzle projecting downwards. Transient behavior of system pressure, as well as global redistribution of gases is investigated. The results reveal that spray activation is very effective in containment system depressurization. Additionally it is found that the depressurization occurs at a higher rate for the systems containing more steam and less non-condensible gas. The depressurization rate gradually slows down, however, as the steam concentration decreases due to condensation, and non-condensible gases spread over the vessel system. It is also observed that the spray activation initiates the breakup of the helium-rich layer. The composition of the gas atmosphere plays a crucial role in determining the initiation time of the breakup; the presence of large amounts of non-condensible gas such as air delays the beginning of the helium layer breakup by approximately 200 s. The downward component of spray momentum causes the entrainment and the recirculation of the ambient gas atmosphere. Together with the entrainment and condensation effect, spray activation influences the gas mixture density in Vessel-1 and this generates a driving force for inter-compartment flow. As a result of this, an increase of helium-rich gas mixture is observed in the regions far away from the spray, i.e.; in Vessel-2.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)3935-3944
    Number of pages10
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Issue number9
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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