MYRRHA is a flexible fast-spectrum research reactor under design at SCK CEN, the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre. The primary coolant is Lead Bismuth Eutectic (LBE). Cavitation is an important phenomenon in pump hydrodynamics that can significantly accelerate erosion of pump parts and lead to their rapid destruction. Therefore, research on cavitation erosion in liquid LBE is very important to confirm the safety of MYRRHA.
Currently, there is a gap in knowledge of the characteristics of cavitation in liquid LBE and of the conditions and factors affecting its appearance such as:
- Temperature of LBE;
- Static pressure;
- Impurity content;
- Surface condition of a test sample.
This thesis aims to bridge the gap and to design and realize an experimental facility and program to provide experimental data that will characterize the cavitation depending on various factors. These data can be used as input in the design of the MYRRHA pumps.