WPFC Task Force on Benchmarking of Thermal-Hydraulic Loop Models for Lead Alloy-Cooled Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (LACANES)

TF LACANES mandate


The objectives of the benchmark study are:

Lead-alloys are very attractive nuclear coolant because of their low melting temperature, high boiling temperature, chemical stability and neutron transparency. In addition, lead-bismuth Eutectic (LBE) itself is a very efficient spallation target for neutron generation via a high-energy proton accelerator. Thus, lead and lead alloy coolants continue to be the subject of considerable research in the USA, Europe, and Asia as well as Russian Federation, focused on accelerator-driven transmutation systems and lead and lead-alloy cooled fast reactors (LFR) that are hereafter collectively designated as lead alloy-cooled advanced nuclear energy systems (LACANES).

Accurate characterisation of the thermal-hydraulic behaviours of those LACANES under natural circulation as well as steady-state forced convection is of critical importance for the system design development effort. While benchmarking of thermal-hydraulic loop models has been extensively carried out for sodium coolants, such a systematic effort has not been carried out in parallel for lead or lead-bismuth coolant. By utilising large-scale lead-alloy coolant loop test facilities, experimental data can be examined and qualified for used in benchmarking of these models. An expert group that addresses the major issues associated with the thermal-hydraulic benchmarking for LACANES would prove beneficial to all the interested parties.


Thermal-hydraulic data sets for isothermal steady-state forced convection tests and non-isothermal natural circulation tests have been produced using the HELIOS (heavy eutectic liquid metal loop for integral test of operability and safety) facility at the Seoul National University, Seoul, Rep. of Korea. Participants will model the loop tests and compare results with the produced data sets. Detailed information on the geometric and thermal-hydraulic configuration of HELIOS is first disseminated to participants so that modelling input parameters can be evaluated. An isothermal convection test run will be predicted by each modelling participant. Then model results will be compared with HELIOS isothermal test data. The same procedure will be repeated for the case of natural circulation. Unresolved important issues, if encountered, will be summarised.

Schedule and deliverables

The time when approval is obtained to start work is defined as t0. The subgroup will work for two years to achieve the results described above. The schedule will be organised in four phases:


Task Force meeting

Meetings under Expert Group on HLM Technology

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Working Party on Scientific Issues of the Fuel Cycle (WPFC)

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Last reviewed: 5 January 2013