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Numerical simulation on self-leveling behavior of mixed particle beds using multi-fluid model coupled with DEM

Phan, L. H. S.*; Ohara, Yohei*; Kawata, Ryo*; Liu, X.*; Liu, W.*; Morita, Koji*; Guo, L.*; Kamiyama, Kenji; Tagami, Hirotaka

Self-leveling behavior of core fuel debris beds is one of the key phenomena for the safety assessment of core disruptive accidents (CDAs) in sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs). The SIMMER code has been developed for CDA analysis of SFRs, and the code has been successfully applied to numerical simulations for key thermal-hydraulic phenomena involved in CDAs as well as reactor safety assessment. However, in SIMMER's fluid-dynamics model, it is always difficult to represent the strong interactions between solid particles as well as the discrete particle characteristics. To solve this problem, a new method has been developed by combining the multi-fluid model of the SIMMER code with the discrete element method (DEM) for the solid phase to reasonably simulate the particle behaviors as well as the fluid-particle interactions in multi-phase flows. In this study, in order to validate the multi-fluid model of the SIMMER code coupled with DEM, numerical simulations were performed on a series of self-leveling experiments using a gas injection method in cylindrical particle beds. The effects of friction coefficient on the simulation results were investigated by sensitivity analysis. Though more extensive validations are needed, the reasonable agreement between simulation results and corresponding experimental data preliminarily demonstrates the potential ability of the present method in simulating the self-leveling behaviors of debris bed. It is expected that the SIMMER code coupled with DEM is a prospective computational tool for analysis of safety issues related to solid particle debris bed in SFRs.

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