Physical-chemical Background of the Potential Phase Transitions during Loss of Coolant Accidents in the Supercritical Water Loops of Various Generation IV Nuclear Reactor Types
Loss of coolant accidents (LOCA) are a serious type of accidents for nuclear reactors, when the integrity of the liquid-loop breaks. While in traditional pressurized water reactors, pressure drop can cause flash boiling, in Supercritical-Water Cooled reactors, the pressure drop can be terminated by processes with fast phase transition (flash boiling or steam collapse) causing pressure surge or the expansion can go smoothly to the dry steam region. Modelling the pressure drop of big and small LOCAs as isentropic and isenthalpic processes and replacing the existing reactor designs with a simplified supercritical loop, limiting temperatures for various outcomes will be given for 24.5 and 25 MPa initial pressure. Using the proposed method, similar accidents for chemical reactors and other equipment using supercritical fluids can be also analyzed, using only physical-chemical properties of the given supercritical fluid.