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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Methods for the characterization of deposition and transport of magnetite particles in supercritical water Karakama, Keigo


Generation IV CANDU Supercritical Water Reactor (SCWR) is being developed to use a light water coolant at high temperature and pressure beyond the critical point of water (374⁰C and 22.1 MPa). The dramatic decrease in the solubility of magnetite in supercritical water suggests that the precipitation of magnetite particles will occur in the reactor core which can deposit on the fuel cladding or be transported to the steam turbine. A once-through flow system was modified to develop experimental techniques for studying the deposition and transport of magnetite particles in supercritical water onto stainless steel 316L. Experiments were run with temperatures ranging from 200°C to 400°C and a pressure of 23.7 MPa. A hydrothermal method for synthesizing magnetite particles was adapted for producing simulated corrosion products in which a typical run had an iron concentration of 0.005 mol/L and lasted for 40 minutes. An online monitoring technique using thermal resistance to infer deposit loadings showed deposition and removal cycles of the corrosion product on the tube wall. Scanning electron microscope images of particles on the tube inner wall and those collected by the high temperature, high pressure filters revealed magnetite particles which were several hundred nanometers to several microns in diameter depending on the precursor and condition of the system. Ultrasound and acid wash cleaning methods were used to remove deposits from the test section for determining deposit thickness and adhesive strength. The strength of deposit adhesion was observed to increase along the tube, particularly under supercritical conditions suggesting precipitation of dissolved species may enhance the strength of the deposit. By comparing the results, a comprehensive approach was developed to study magnetite fouling in supercritical water conditions. Finally, comparison between a simulation model based on mass transport equations and experimental deposition suggests that mass transport alone can overestimate the deposition thickness when surface attachment and removal are significant as they were for many experiments in this study. The simulation predicted as an upper limit scenario that fouling in a CANDU SCWR could increase the fuel cladding temperature at certain locations by up to 23.9⁰C after one year of operation.

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