Transport Phenomena in Nuclear Applications

Student projects

Modeling melting/solidification processes in the Molten Salt Fast Reactor

Msc

The most innovative aspects of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR), one of the six Generation IV nuclear reactors, are that the fuel is dissolved in a liquid salt, and that it can be passively drained in an Emergency Safety Tank placed underneath the core, via the melting of plugs made of frozen salt. Modeling solidification/melting phenomena is numerically challenging due to the presence of a moving solid-liquid interface. In this project freezing of the salt on a surface is studied by using the lattice-Boltzmann method. The system that needs to be investigated is a laminar flow through a channel, with one wall being colder that the melting temperature.

Occupied

Modeling melting/solidification processes in the Molten Salt Fast Reactor

Msc

The most innovative aspects of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor (MSFR), one of the six Generation IV nuclear reactors, are that the fuel is dissolved in a liquid salt, and that it can be passively drained in an Emergency Safety Tank placed underneath the core, via the melting of plugs made of frozen salt. Modeling solidification/melting phenomena is numerically challenging due to the presence of a moving solid-liquid interface. The enthalpy-porosity method is often employed, because of its versatility and convenience: it is easy to adapt to complex geometries, and, in it, the solid-liquid interface is implicitly tracked, by smearing the phase-change region over several grid cells and implicitly accounting for the latent heat. With this project, we want to continue the investigation of phase-change processes inside the MSFR. The student will do so by first implementing an enthalpy-porosity method in an existent CFD code (written in Fortran), based on the Discontinuous Galerkin Finite Element Method for the spatial discretization of the governing equations. The second goal will be to investigate the possibility of extending the model to simulate the contact-melting mechanism.

Available

Measuring the reology of non-Newtonian fluids  by using metal ultrasonic guides 

MSc/BSc

This project is part of our goal to measure the viscosity of molten fuel salts at high temperature with the help of an ultrasonic guide. These properties are needed to predict turbulence and local melting and solidification of the salt. Ultrasonic waves propagating in a metal waveguide are possibly influenced by the temperature. In this project the measurement of the reology of a power-law fluid will be done, together with the development/use of an analytical model.

Occupied

Metallic nanoparticles extraction by helium bubbling in simulated Molten Salt fluid

BSc

In the molten salt reactor, metallic fission products need to be removed. Currently the idea is to remove these fission products by the introduction of helium bubbles which take these particles to the surface of the molten salt. In this project the extraction of particles is measured in a simulant fluid and with the help of laser techniques (Laser Induced Fluorescence). The set up has been established, and the first measurements have been done, but the technique needs to be improved. Moreover measurements have been done with polymeric particles, and an extension has to be made towards metallic particles.

Available (preferably start in July!)

Investigating flow patterns inside a microchannel

Bsc & MSc

Parallel flow microfluidic solvent extraction could be used for extracting radioactive isotopes. For the success of the extraction, a stable interface between the immiscible aqueous and organic should be established inside the micro-channel. However, the interface is sometimes not stable, forming slug flow. In addition, due to the wettability of the channel, one phase tends to leak to the other one at the end of the channel. Both of the above mentioned problems will lead to the failure of extraction. In this project, the student is expected to study the flow problem by using the lattice-Boltzmann method.

Occupied

Numerical and experimental work in a test loop with a super critical fluid

MSc

Despite the high pressure requirements, supercritical fluids are commonly used in pharmaceutical and chemical extraction processes. This is because of their unique fluid properties, where small changes in pressure and temperature result in a large change of e.g. the density. Supercritical fluids are also able to transfer larger amounts of heat than subcritical fluids because of their sharp increase in specific heat capacity. As such, these fluids are being used in modern power plants. But also on smaller power scale, supercritical fluids are attracting attention, as supercritical CO2 is seen as a future natural refrigerant for automotive applications. Flow measurements with Laser Doppler Anemometry in loops with supercritical fluids are still rare, difficult to perform, because of density differences in the fluid at supercritical conditions. Although recently we performed several measurements in a small test loop with supercritical Freon.

scrooge2

The goal of the project is to model this loop (with forced and natural circulation) and compare these results with LDA-measurements in the loop. The work is partly numerical (model) and experimental (measurements).

Currently unavailable 

Martin Rohde (2020)