Experimental investigation of sagging and ballooning for a completely voided pressure tube of Indian PHWR under heatup condition

G. Nandan, P.K. Sahoo, R. Kumar, B. Chatterjee, D. Mukhopadhyay, H.G. Lele

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In a nuclear reactor Loss of Coolant accident (LOCA) considers wide range of postulated damage or rupture of pipe in the heat transport piping system. In the case of LOCA with/without failure of emergency core cooling system in a Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR), the Pressure Tube (PT) temperature could rise significantly due to fuel heat up and gross mismatch of the heat generation and heat removal in the affected channel. The extent and nature of deformation is important from reactor safety point of view. Experimental set-ups have been designed and fabricated to simulate sagging (downward deformation) and ballooning (radial deformation) of PT for 220 MWe Indian PHWRs. Experiments are conducted both for sagging and ballooning of voided PTs. It is observed that sagging initiates at a temperature around 450C. The complete contact between PT and Calandria Tube (CT) occurs at around 585C. At 60 bar internal pressure and initial heat up rate of 2.37 oC/sec, ballooning of PT initiates at a temperature around 520C. The PT-CT contact is found to take place at 640 oC temperature and strain rates is found to be 0.125% per second. The structural integrity of PT is retained (no breach) for all the experiments. The PT heatup is found to be arrested after the contact between PT and CT, thus establishing moderator acting as an efficient heat sink for IPHWRs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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