Prediction method of critical power by film flow rate measurement and subchannel analysis

Miyuki Akiba*, Tomoji Takamasa, Shinichi Morooka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a method that can estimate the critical power of boiling water reactors, BWRs, with regard to spacer geometry. The current experimental method for estimating the critical power for BWR design requires many trained experts and expensive facilities to conduct the experiments. In the present method, the liquid film flow rate of adiabatic gas-liquid two-phase flow and a subchannel analysis of the actual BWR flow condition are measured experimentally and analyzed. In the experiment, deposition enhancement coefficients of three spacer geometries-a ferrule, an egg-crate, and a ferrule spacer with twisted tape (CYCLONE spacer)-were estimated by measuring the liquid film flow rate of air-water two-phase flow flowing up in a vertical square (4×4) rod bundle that simulated the rod bundle of a BWR. Using these coefficients, the critical powers for bundles using each type of spacer geometry were calculated in the subchannel analysis. This method was validated using previous critical power data in the actual BWR flow condition. The critical powers predicted by this method agreed well with those of the experimental data. The result confirmed the effectiveness of this experiment-simulation combined method, as well as the advantage over current experimental methods in terms of human and facility costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalHeat Transfer - Asian Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical power
  • Deposition enhancement coefficient for spacer
  • Liquid film flow rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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