Several studies have been performed to derive a set of scaling criteria which were thought to be suitable for reproducing thermal-hydraulic phenomena in a scale-down CANDU moderator tank similar to that in a prototype power plant during a full power steady state condition[1,2]. The major variables of interests are moderator flow circulation and temperature inside the moderator tank during a steady state condition. The key phenomena involved include the inlet jet development and impingement, buoyancy force driven by the moderator temperature difference caused by non-uniform heating, and the viscous friction of the flow across the calandria tube array.
In these studies, the governing equations were initially transformed into dimensionless equations based on the representative characteristic values of the basic design such as the time, tank diameter, inlet fluid velocity, and average temperature rise, and 3 dimensionless numbers, Re, Pr, Ar, were identified as those characterizing the key phenomena of the system. The relevant boundary conditions were then identified in a dimensionless form, and the compatibility of keeping these 3 dimensionless numbers, the volumetric heat source distribution, and the boundary conditions in dimensionless forms the same for both the prototype and scale-down tanks were examined, and some of them that are less important are relaxed so as to find a practically implementable set of constraints. The size of the scaled-down moderator tank and corresponding inlet velocity is then found for the available power supply size. As an example, an analysis was performed for a power supply capacity of 500 kW as compared to 100MW for the prototype.
As a way to confirm the validity of the current work two numerical CFD simulations were carried out with the boundary conditions at the inlet and outlet ports, and on the walls of the solid structures, such as the moderator tank and calandria tubes, which were derived from those of the dimensionless scales to check if the moderator flow and temperature patterns of both the prototype reactor and scaled-down facilities are identical or at least similar. A steady-state solution is first obtained for the candu-6 reactor normal operation. Similar simulation was done for the scaled-down facility and results presented. Comparison results are discussed, and the cause of the potential distortion of the scaling owing to practical limitations and possible solutions is finally discussed.