Experimental investigation of the influence of impurities and surface conditions in LBE on the pressure loss and heat transfer characteristics in liquid-metal reactor components

Shin Yong-Hoon

SCK•CEN Mentor

Van Tichelen Katrien
+32 14 33 80 06

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Marino Alessandro
+32 14 33 80 11

Expert group

LBE Components and Experiments

Post-doc started


Short project description

The knowledge of the pressure loss and heat transfer in the steam generator and core of the liquid-metal reactor MYRRHA is of primary importance as they determine the temperatures and temperature gradients in these components, both in nominal and accidental conditions.

Recent experimental investigations in the COMPLOT facility at SCK-CEN of the pressure loss in the MYRRHA fuel bundle have revealed an important dependency on the surface conditions in the bundle. These are determined by temperature, oxygen concentration levels and the eventual presence of impurities. In the current configuration of COMPLOT, only temperature can be varied and no oxygen control system is implemented.

Also in Russian studies on heat transfer in the core and steam generators, a clear dependence of heat transfer characteristics on the same parameters was observed. However, these experiments were performed using specific materials and in high-oxygen concentration conditions that would only be present in MYRRHA in accidental conditions. 


The main objective of the proposed post Doc research is to investigate the effect of temperature, oxygen concentration and presence of impurities on the pressure loss and heat transfer in a heat exchanger experiment that is currently under design at SCK-CEN.

A real-scale single pin of the MYRRHA heat exchanger will be inserted in the existing COMPLOT facility and coupled to the newly-designed HEXACOM water/steam loop to provide temperature conditions that are identical of MYRRHA. At the same time, the COMPLOT facility will be upgraded with an oxygen condition system.

Experiments will be performed in different conditions representative of the nominal and accidental operation of MYRRHA and pressure loss and heat transfer will measured experimentally.

The researcher will also be asked to evaluate the possibility of other existing facilities at SCK-CEN to perform similar studies on other components and to identify the necessary modifications. Moreover, the researcher should evaluate the relevance of existing experimental data from literature for the MYRRHA case.