Numerical Simulation of Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer of the Supercritical Water in Different Fuel Rod Channels
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The supercritical water-cooled reactor was proposed as one of the Generation IV nuclear systems. Although many research works on the fluid flow and heat transfer of supercritical water in circular channels have been conducted, there is still lack of research on the fluid flow and heat transfer process in fuel bundles used in supercritical water-cooled nuclear reactors. Besides, fuel bundles have multiple fuel rods, the flow is an external flow, not internal flow as that in circle channels, which will cause the difference in the fluid flow phenomenon and heat transfer on the fuel rod cladding surface. In this work, the heat transfer and fluid flow characteristics of the supercritical water in the single-rod channel and the multi-rod channel are simulated numerically. The results show that there are secondary flows in both channels. The circumferential cladding surface temperature variation is large and should be considered in the future fuel rod design. With the same flow rate and heat flux input, the maximum cladding surface temperature in the multi-rod channel is much higher than that in the single-rod channel. Since the maximum cladding surface temperature is an important parameter for the safety of the nuclear reactor operation, it is recommended to use the multi-rod channel model to conduct numerical simulations for the fluid flow and heat transfer of the supercritical water in the Canadian SCWR.