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International Heat Transfer Conference 15

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Heat Pipe Applications in Cooling Nuclear Fuel

Randeep Singh
Thermal Technology Division, Fujikura Ltd, 1-5-1, Kiba, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-8512, Japan; Fujikura Automotive Europe GmbH, Albin-Kobis Strasse 6, D-51147 Koln

Masataka Mochizuki
Thermal Technology Division, Fujikura Ltd. 1-5-1, Kiba, Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135, Japan

Thang Nguyen
Thermal Technology Division, Engineering Department, Fujikura Ltd. 1-5-1, Kiba, Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135, Japan

Yuji Saito
Thermal Technology Division, Engineering Department, Fujikura Ltd. 1-5-1, Kiba, Koto-Ku, Tokyo 135, Japan

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC15.hpp.009124
pages 3775-3786

KEY WORDS: Heat pipe, Nuclear energy, Nuclear Power Reactor, nuclear power reactor, emergency core cooling system, loop type heat pipe, spent fuel


Heat pipes have potential to provide passive, two-phase and most importantly reliable cooling system in nuclear power plants. In this paper, heat pipes application for emergency core cooling and spent fuel cooling have been identified and analysed in detail. Loop type heat pipe consisting of cylindrical evaporator, with 62 vertical tubes, each 150 mm diameter and 6 m length, mounted around the circumference of nuclear fuel assembly, and 21 m x 10 m x 5 m naturally cooled finned condenser installed outside the primary containment, has been proposed. Heat pipe with overall thermal resistance of 1.44 x 10-5 °C/W and initial 10 minutes of feed water flooding of core will be able to cool the core within 4.3 hours. For the spent fuel pool cooling, completely passive cooling system utilizing heat pipe thermal diode character and natural air convection cooling of condenser have been proposed. Detail analysis of various heat pipe design cases to determine the best design concept in terms of cooling power, construction and cost has been presented. The best design when considering thermal safety margin and cost is the heat pipe cooling system with capacity of 0.9 MW, 1,662 heat pipe modules. For this design case, water temperature will reach to peak 68 °C after 75 hours, and then it will saturate at 50 °C after 2,000 hours. The proposed heat pipe systems can be operated completely passive which will provide safer operational environment to nuclear power plants.

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