Use of Nanofluids for Enhancement of Safety in Water Cooled Nuclear Reactors

T. McKrell, J. Buongiorno, L-W Hu, G. Dewitt, H.D. Kim
Massachusettes Institute of Technology, US

Keywords: nanofluids, nuclear, heat transfer, CHF, quench


Nanofluids, stable colloidal suspensions of solid particles (< 100nm) in a liquid, offer great promise in terms of enhancing the heat transfer characteristics of surfaces. Research has shown that the most significant enhancements are observed in the critical heat flux and in quenching kinetics. Additionally, research has shown that these enhancements are due to modification of the surface via deposition of nanoparticles during boiling. Here the use of nanofluids for enhancing the safety of nuclear applications will be discussed. Namely: 1) in vessel retention (IVR) systems,2) emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) - quenching post large break loss of coolant accident (LBLOCA), and 3) primary coolants will be presented. The experimental findings have been correlated to changes in the surface post nanoparticle deposition in an attempt to identify the mechanisms at play. For all three possible applications experiments have been conducted and the data applied to: 1) analytical models to quantify the increased margins that the nanofluids offer, and 2) engineering of surfaces to increase quench kinetics.