Determination of heat flux leading to the onset of flow instability in MTR reactors

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering Department

All Authors

Salah El-Din El-Morshedy

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title


Publication Date

Summer 7-14-2022



The prediction of heat flux leading to the Onset of Flow Instability (OFI) phenomena is an important consideration in the design of Material Testing Reactors (MTR) due to the possibility of flow excursion during postulated accident. From the thermal-hydraulic point of view, OFI is the critical phenomenon limiting MTR reactor power. In a previous work, an empirical correlation is developed to predict the subcooling at OFI in narrow vertical rectangular channels simulating a coolant channel of MTR. In the present work, an innovative model to determine the heat flux leading to OFI in MTR reactors is introduced based on the previous correlation. The developed model gives a very low deviation of only 1.65% from the experimental data of Whittle & Forgan that covers a wide range of MTR operating conditions. The heat flux leading to OFI is also predicted by both Whittle & Forgan and Fabrega correlations for comparison. The present model is then applied on the IAEA 10 MW MTR generic reactor to predict the Best-Estimate (BE) and Best-Estimate-Plus-Uncertainty (BEPU) Onset of Flow Instability Ratio (OFIR) and the power leading to OFI as well as the bubble detachment parameter under different coolant velocities and inlet temperatures. The model is also used to predict both the OFIR and bubble detachment parameter in the reactor under unprotected Loss-of-Flow transient for exponential flow decay with a time constant of 1.0 s (fast LOFA), 10, 15 and 25 s (slow LOFA) from a power level of 10 MW. For BEPU calculation, a combined statistical method with direct propagation of errors is adapted to treat the uncertainty factors for fuel fabrication and measured parameters in the BEPU calculation. The model results is analyzed and discussed.

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