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Report No.
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Phase Change Predictions for Liquid Fuel in Contact with Steel Structure using the Heat Conduction Equation

Brear, D. J.

When liquid fuel makes contact with steel structure the liquid can freeze as a crust and the structure can melt at the surface. The melting and freezing processes that occur can influence the mode of fuel freezing and hence fuel relocation. Furthermore the temperature gradients established in the fuel and steel phases determine the rate at which heat is transferred from fuel to steel. In this memo the 1-D transient heat conduction equations are applied to the case of initially liquid UO$$_{2}$$ brought into contact with solid steel using up-to-date materials properties. The solutions predict criteria for fuel crust formation and steel melting and provide a simple algorithm to determine the interface temperature when one or both of the materials is undergoing phase change. The predicted steel melting criterion is compared with available experimental results.

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