Investigation on reverse flow characteristics in U-tubes under two-phase natural circulation

  • Chu, Xi (College of Nuclear Science and Technology, Naval University of Engineering) ;
  • Li, Mingrui (College of Nuclear Science and Technology, Naval University of Engineering) ;
  • Chen, Wenzhen (College of Nuclear Science and Technology, Naval University of Engineering) ;
  • Hao, Jianli (College of Nuclear Science and Technology, Naval University of Engineering)
  • Received : 2019.05.15
  • Accepted : 2019.10.14
  • Published : 2020.05.25


The vertically inverted U-tube steam generator (UTSG) is widely used in the pressurized water reactor (PWR). The reverse flow behavior generally exists in some U-tubes of a steam generator (SG) under both single- and two-phase natural circulations (NCs). The behavior increases the flow resistance in the primary loop and reduces the heat transfer in the SG. As a consequence, the NC ability as well as the inherent safety of nuclear reactors is faced with severe challenges. The theoretical models for calculating single- and two-phase flow pressure drops in U-tubes are developed and validated in this paper. The two-phase reverse flow characteristics in two types of SGs are investigated base on the theoretical models, and the effects of the U-tube height, bending radius, inlet steam quality and primary side pressure on the behavior are analyzed. The conclusions may provide some promising references for SG optimization to reduce the disadvantageous behavior. It is also of significance to improve the NC ability and ensure the PWR safety during some accidents.


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