For the safety design of a Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR), if a Core Disruptive Accident (CDA) occurred hypothetically, it is required to suppress the rapid energy release due to a prompt criticality. Even if the rapid energy release does not occur, there is a possibility that a large amount of fuel melts. Therefore it is important to achieve Post Accident Heat Removal (PAHR). In order to achieve PAHR, it is strongly required that the molten material which is released from a core region gets cool and solidifies in the sodium coolant in a reactor vessel by breaking up. It is considered that the molten fuel is injected into the coolant like a jet. Furthermore, in the actual FBR, the interfacial temperature between the molten fuel jet and the coolant is considered to be lower than the melting point of the molten material. Thus for PAHR in CDA, it is important to understand the interaction between the jet and the coolant in such a condition and to estimate the molten jet behavior quantitatively.
In order to estimate quantitatively the effects of the solidification on the molten jet behavior, we carried out the experiment in which a simulant material was injected into a simulant coolant. In the experiment, we used low melting point alloy (Bi -Sn) and water as the simulant molten material and the simulant coolant respectively. In the experiments, we chose the temperature range including the condition that the interfacial temperature was lower than the melting point of the molten material. The jet breakup and the fragmentation behavior of the molten material jet were observed with a high speed video camera. Then the jet breakup length is estimated form the results. We changed the initial interfacial temperature condition by adjusting temperature of the molten material and the coolant. We also changed the jet velocity by adjusting the height of the nozzle tip from the water surface.
From the experiment, we found that the jet breakup behavior depends greatly on the interfacial temperature and the injection velocity and that the solidification of a molten material jet and the growth of unstable jet surface, which results from the relative velocity of the jet to the coolant, are in a competitive relation for the jet breakup. We also found that when the molten material jet breaks up into fragments, the breakup length is independent of the initial interfacial temperature and the initial injection velocity.