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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2016, Article ID 1687946, 15 pages
Research Article

New RELAP5-3D Lead and LBE Thermophysical Properties Implementation for Safety Analysis of Gen IV Reactors

1Department of Astronautical, Electrical and Energy Engineering, “Sapienza” University, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 244, 00186 Rome, Italy
2Idaho National Laboratory, 2525 Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, USA

Received 16 January 2016; Accepted 7 February 2016

Academic Editor: Eugenijus Ušpuras

Copyright © 2016 P. Balestra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The latest versions of RELAP5-3D© code allow the simulation of thermodynamic system, using different type of working fluids, that is, liquid metals, molten salt, diathermic oil, and so forth, thanks to the ATHENA code integration. The RELAP5-3D© water thermophysical properties are largely verified and validated; however there are not so many experiments to generate the liquid metals ones in particular for the Lead and the Lead Bismuth Eutectic. Recently, new and more accurate experimental data are available for liquid metals. The comparison between these state-of-the-art data and the RELAP5-3D© default thermophysical properties shows some discrepancy; therefore a tool for the generation of new properties binary files has been developed. All the available data came from experiments performed at atmospheric pressure. Therefore, to extend the pressure domain below and above this pressure, the tool fits a semiempirical model (soft sphere model with inverse-power-law potential), specific for the liquid metals. New binary files of thermophysical properties, with a detailed mesh grid of point to reduce the code mass error (especially for the Lead), were generated with this tool. Finally, calculations using a simple natural circulation loop were performed to understand the differences between the default and the new properties.