Abstract

An experimental study of the effect of liquid subcooling on the minimum film boiling temperature during quenching of a simulated nuclear fuel rod was performed under carefully controlled laboratory conditions. The rod was designed and fabricated with a proper combination of cladding and filler materials and was instrumented with embedded thermocouples distributed at various axial and radial locations. Quenching of the rods was done using distilled water with various degrees of subcooling as the working fluid. It was found that the rate of quenching depends strongly on the liquid subcooling. Multiple maxima were observed between film and nucleate boiling in the boiling curve for high subcoolings. Increasing subcooling had the effect of moving the entire boiling curve up and to the right, resulting in a considerably high minimum film boiling temperature. The strong effect of liquid subcooling on the quenching of a fuel rod should be properly accounted for in the study of reflood heat transfer in a nuclear reactor following a design-based accident.

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