Improvement of solidification model and analysis of 3D channel blockage with MPS method

Reo Kawakami*, Xin Li, Guangtao Duan, Akifumi Yamaji, Isamu Sato, Tohru Suzuki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In a severe accident of a nuclear power reactor, coolant channel blockage by solidified molten core debris may significantly influence the core degradations that follow. The moving particle semi-implicit (MPS) method is one of the Lagrangian-based particle methods for analyzing incompressible flows. In the study described in this paper, a novel solidification model for analyzing melt flowing channel blockage with the MPS method has been developed, which is suitable to attain a sufficient numerical accuracy with a reasonable calculation cost. The prompt velocity diffusion by viscosity is prioritized over the prompt velocity correction by the pressure term (for assuring incompressibility) within each time step over the “mushy zone” (between the solidus and liquidus temperature) for accurate modeling of solidification before fixing the coordinates of the completely solidified particles. To sustain the numerical accuracy and stability, the corrective matrix and particle shifting techniques have been applied to correct the discretization errors from irregular particle arrangements and to recover the regular particle arrangements, respectively. To validate the newly developed algorithm, 2-D benchmark analyses are conducted for steady-state freezing of the water in a laminar flow between two parallel plates. Furthermore, 3-D channel blockage analyses of a boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel support piece have been performed. The results show that a partial channel blockage develops from the vicinity of the speed limiter, which does not fully develop into a complete channel blockage, but still diverts the incoming melt flow that follows to the orifice region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-958
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • boiling water reactor (BWR)
  • channel blockage
  • moving particle semi-implicit (MPS) method
  • severe accident
  • solidification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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