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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 3087051, 10 pages
Research Article

Pressure Waves due to Rapid Evaporation of Water Droplet in Liquid Lead Coolant

1Ishlinsky Institute for Problems in Mechanics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ave. Vernadskogo 101, Bldg 1, Moscow 119526, Russia
2Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Baumanskaya 2-ya 5, Moscow 105005, Russia
3National Research University “Moscow Power Engineering Institute”, Krasnokazarmennaya 14, Moscow 111250, Russia
4Joint Stock Company “Electrogorsk Research and Engineering Center on NPP Safety”, Saint Constantine Str. 6, Electrogorsk, Moscow Region 142530, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed to S. E. Yakush

Received 25 September 2017; Accepted 28 January 2018; Published 1 March 2018

Academic Editor: Michel Giot

Copyright © 2018 S. E. Yakush 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.


Flash evaporation of a superheated water droplet in heavy liquid metal coolant (lead) is considered, in application to the analysis of a lead-cooled fast reactor steam generator tube rupture accident. The model is based on thermodynamic equilibrium formulation for the expanding water-steam mixture and inviscid compressible formulation for the surrounding liquid lead, with the interface conditions determined from the solution of the Riemann problem. Numerical solution is performed in the spherically symmetric geometry using a conservative numerical scheme with a moving sharp interface. Transient pressure and velocity profiles in each phase are presented for the parameters typical of the steam generator tube rupture accidents, demonstrating the process of boiling water expansion and pressure wave formation in the coolant. The results obtained are compared with a simplified model which considers the volume-averaged parameters of boiling water droplets and considers coolant as an incompressible liquid. Good agreement between the full and simplified models is demonstrated. Impacts of coolant flow on structures caused by pressure wave propagation and subsequent coolant flow are discussed.