This paper addresses the three-dimensional analysis of unsteady flow in the RWT (Refueling Water Tank) for the prediction of the potential for air ingression into the ECC (Emergency Core Cooling) pump during the SBLOCA (Small Break Loss Of Coolant Accident) at KSNPs (Korean Standard Nuclear Power plants). Upon the receipt of RAS (Recirculation Actuation Signal) by the occurrence of SBLOCA, the RWT outlet valve is designed to be isolated manually. At the nuclear power plants without the provision of automatic isolation operation of the valve on the downstream of the RWT line, the refueling water begins to discharge from the RWT, which may result in forming and developing the vortex flow in the RWT, under the condition of the minimum pressure of containment and minimum water level of containment recirculation sump during the phase of RAS. Due to the vortex flow, when the water level is below the critical height, a dip starts to develop, causing air ingression before the refueling water drains fully. Hence it can be surmised that there is a possibility of ECC pump failure due to air ingression into the ECC supply line even before the RWT is fully drained. Therefore, in this work, when the RAS is actuated followed by the SBLOCA occurrence, a quantitative evaluation for the maximum limiting allowable time for the manual closing of RWT outlet valve is carried out to eliminate the possibility of air ingression into the ECC pump from the RWT. To do this, the unsteady flow field in the RWT including the drain pit with the connected discharge piping in the process of SBLOCA is analyzed using a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) code. In addition, the transient flow behavior accompanying air entrainment resulting from the dip formation due to vortex flow at the upper part of RWT is examined and the applicable limiting time of the isolation valve closing for preventing air ingression is assessed.

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