Thermal-Hydraulics

The loads on equipment and structures in nuclear power plants due to water hammer phenomena are being examined as part of the EC 5th Framework Programme WAHALOADS (Giot et al., 2001). The main interest is in water hammer due to condensation or shock waves. This might be caused by the inflow of sub-cooled water into pipes or other components containing steam or two-phase steam-water mixtures. Pressure waves might be generated by valve operation or following pipe ruptures.

Water hammer data are being obtained from three different test facilities.

The UMSICHT facility in Oberhausen is being adapted to simulate pipes with supports, in a configuration that is prototypic of a nuclear power plant. Experiments are being conducted with the opening and closing of valves in two 230 m pipes at different elevations, the pipes have inner and outer diameters of 54 and 108 mm, respectively. Fluid dynamic loads, fluid structure interactions and global structural response will be investigated.

The Cold Water Hammer Test Facility in FZ-Rossendorf aims to generate water hammer by accelerating a water slug to impinge on a lid flange (bouncing plate). The facility consists of a pressurised water tank connected to a horizontal pipe section connecting through a 90-degree bend to a vertical pipe section with the lid flange. The total length of the pipe is 3 m with outer diameter 219 mm.

The water hammer test rig in the integral test facility PMK-2 at AEKI will be used to perform at system pressures up to 4 MPa. A horizontal pipe of 80 mm inner diameter is connected to the head of the steam generator on one side and the steam condenser of the facility on the other side. Water hammer is generated by displacing steam in the test pipe with cold water.

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