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International Heat Transfer Conference 8

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

TESTS ON AN ELECTRICALLY HEATED SODIUM HEAT PIPE FOR TEMPERATURE CONTROL OF IRRADIATION EXPERIMENTS IN THE UK PROTOTYPE FAST REACTOR

J. C. Ralph
UKAEA, AERE HARWELL, ENGLAND

G. Chaffey
UKAEA, AERE HARWELL, ENGLAND

Abstract

Temperature control of irradiation specimens in the UK PFR by the use of gas buffered sodium heat pipes is being developed. To confirm that the requirements of the system could be met, an out of pile test programme was mounted.

A pumped sodium loop was used to provide a simulation of the reactor thermal environment, while a typical specimen array was simulated with electrically heated rods arranged concentrically in a sodium filled annulus surrounding the evaporator of the heat pipe. The tests confirmed that the heat pipe temperature could be set to within ± 1° C at temperature levels between 620 and 720° C by adjustment of the argon buffer pressure.

The system operated as designed and confirmed that the temperature control requirements of insensitivity to power input and heat sink temperature changes can be met by gas buffered heat pipes.

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