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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R045194/1
Title: Computational modelling for nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics
Principal Investigator: Colombo, Dr M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemical and Process Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 01 June 2018 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 16,667
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
To accomplish government's plan of increasing the role of nuclear energy in the future low-carbon United Kingdom's energy sector, new reactors that increase the overall nuclear generating capacity will be built in the forthcoming decades. As obvious as it might sounds, it is of uttermost importance for these new reactors to reach the highest possible safety standards. The proposed piece of work aims at contributing to two of perhaps the most important safety-related areas of research while establishing strong research links with two esteemed overseas research groups active in the areas:

- As the recent events in Fukushima have demonstrated, there is an enormous benefit in being able to provide the necessary cooling of the plant even in absence of any active power. This can be achieved by relying on passive cooling methods that happens as a consequence of natural-occurring phenomena and does not require any active power intervention. In a nuclear plant, passive cooling can be safely and efficiently provided by natural convection. However, effectiveness and reliability of natural convection is significantly difficult to be predicted with accuracy. The research proposed aims at advancing accuracy and reliability of the methods we use to predict the effectiveness of passive cooling. This part of the work will be accomplished by actively collaborating with researchers from the Nuclear Reactors Group of Politecnico di Milano, in Italy.

- Almost all water cooled reactors exploit boiling as a very efficient cooling method. Boiling is a very efficient heat transfer mechanism as long as the heated surface remains wetted by water. Otherwise heat transfer deteriorates dramatically, eventually compromising the integrity of the fuel rods and the safety of the plant. This part of the work deals with our understanding and ability to predict one of the most relevant aspect of boiling flows, which is the behaviour of the bubbles in the bulk of the flow. Main objective is to further develop computational methods available and validate their predictions against bubbly flows as a fundamental step to increase our ability to predict boiling flows. Research will be accomplished by actively collaborating with researchers from the Institute of Fluid Dynamics at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, in Germany.

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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk