The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers
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The Potential for Graphite Oxidation in Dry Wall ICF Chambers. El S. Mogahed, I. N Sviatoslavsky, J. G. Murphy, H. Y. Khater, M. H. Anderson, and G. L. Kulcinski Fusion Technology Institute University of Wisconsin May 31, 2001. Outline of Presentation. Why are we concerned?

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The Potential for Graphite Oxidation in Dry Wall ICF Chambers

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The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

The Potential for Graphite Oxidation in Dry Wall ICF Chambers

El S. Mogahed, I. N Sviatoslavsky, J. G. Murphy, H. Y. Khater, M. H. Anderson, and

G. L. Kulcinski

Fusion Technology Institute

University of Wisconsin

May 31, 2001


Outline of presentation

Outline of Presentation

  • Why are we concerned?

  • Fundamental assumptions and model of worst accident

  • Time dependent temperature of graphite first wall after accident (without oxidation)

  • Time dependent availability of oxygen in the chamber

  • Potential first wall carbon oxidation rates

  • Time dependent temperature of graphite first wall after accident (with oxidation)

  • Calculated erosion rates (with oxidation)

  • Methods to mitigate carbon oxidation

  • Conclusions and recommendations


Why are we concerned about possible oxidation of dry wall graphite structures

Why are we concerned about possible oxidation of dry wall graphite structures?

  • Woven graphite structures run at 800 to 1500 °C in a 0.5 torr Xe atmosphere in SOMBRERO.

  • The introduction of air as a result of an accident could release radioactive tritium and result in structural degradation if oxidation were to take place.

  • The fundamental question is “ Will the graphite first wall temperature be high enough,when the oxygen reaches it, to cause significant oxidation?”


Worst accident scenario

Worst Accident Scenario

  • A 1 m2 hole is introduced in the 1.3 m thick outer building wall while the reactor is operating.

  • The air rushes through the 1 m2 opening and through the laser ports in the outer chamber, and finally through the beam ports in the inner chamber.

  • The reactor and all mechanical equipment shuts down and the Li2O coolant drains from the chamber and upper manifold by gravity.

  • The first wall radiates heat to the rest of the chamber and it also loses heat out the back of the blanket and shield.

  • The ultimate heat sink is the wall of the outer building

A 1 m2 hole is introduced in the 1.3 m thick outer building wall while the reactor is operating.

The reactor and all mechanical equipment shuts down and the Li2O coolant drains from the chamber and upper manifold by gravity.

The first wall radiates heat to the rest of the chamber and it also loses heat out the back of the blanket and shield.

The ultimate heat sink is the wall of the outer building

The air rushes through the 1 m2 opening and through the laser ports in the outer chamber, and finally through the beam ports in the inner chamber.


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

SOMBRERO BUILDING

1 m2

INNER

Hole

BUILDING

OUTER BUILDING

OUTER BUILDING

4

3

VOLUME = 2.6x10

m

10 m

CHAMBER

2

60 x 0.159 m

Atmospheric

Pressure

50m

15m

2

60 x 0.038 m

5

3

VOLUME = 9x10

m

3

3

VOLUME = 1.73x10

m

2

2

1 m

2.28

m

2

Atmospheric

9.54

m

Hole

OUTER BUILDING

Hole

INNER

Hole

CHAMBER

Pressure

BUILDING

Model of SOMBRERO Building as it is used in the MELCOR code


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

Pressure In the Chamber Time History

12

Atmospheric Pressure

10

8

Air Pressure

Pa)

4

6

Pressure (10

4

- The oxygen partial pressure follows same build-up pattern if there is no oxidation.

Maximum O

Partial Pressure

2

(No Oxidation )

2

0

0

1

2

3

4

5

3

Time (10

s)

Air Pressure History in SOMBRERO Chamber After the Accident

-The pressure in the chamber increases with time and reaches one atmosphere in about 4000 s (1.1 Hr) (MELCOR Calculations).


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

Assumptions:

- Axi-symmetric model.

SOMBRERO Finite Element Thermal Model

- Transient solution,that

allows conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer that varies with time.

- Back of chamber radiates to the inner building wall that is initially at 350°C.

- The back of the inner building wall radiates to the outer building wall at 20°C.


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

Li2O, T= 550 °C

Min.

Midplane

Max.

SOMBRERO CHAMBER

Transient Thermal Analysis of SOMBRERO First Wall

With No Oxidation

• Assumptions:

. Cooling due to Li2O drainage during the first 130 s after the accident

. Only conduction and radiation heat transfer are in force after

130 s.


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

Transient Thermal Analysis of SOMBRERO First Wall

With No Oxidation

• Assumptions:

. Cooling due to Li2O drainage during the first 130 s after the accident

. Only conduction and radiation heat transfer are in force after 130 s.


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

Transient Thermal Analysis of SOMBRERO FW/Chamber With No Oxidation

1400

Max.

Min.

Mid.

1200

Min.

Midplane

1000

Max.

Maximum First Wall Temperature (°C)

800

SOMBRERO CHAMBER

600

Cooling Due to

Li

O Drainage

2

400

1 Month

130 s

1 Day

200

-1

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

Time (s)

- Cooling due to Li2O Drainage During the First 130 s After the Accident.

- Only Conduction and Radiation Heat Transfer is in effect after 130 s.

- The Back of the Chamber Remains Hot (≈ 780°C) During the First 130 s.


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

The Oxygen Partial Pressure is Low While the First Wall

Temperature is High


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

Different Graphites Have Very Different Oxidation Rates

Experimental data is available for temperatures over 800°C.

- Union Carbide graphite oxidation rate is two times higher than GraphNOL N3M.

- Pfizer pyrolytic graphite oxidation rate is much less than both Union Carbide Graphite and GraphNOL N3M.


The potential for graphite oxidation in dry wall icf chambers

The Choice of the Wrong Graphite for an IFE First Wall Could Cause Problems if The Building is Breached

• FW graphite temperature rises as a result of exothermic reaction with oxygen.

• Oxidation of GraphNOL graphite is very rapid, it will oxidize the 1 cm FW in about 3.5 Hr.

• Oxidation of pyrolytic graphite is very low and raises FW temperature about 10°C at most.


Methods of mitigating air ingress accident effect

Methods of Mitigating Air Ingress Accident Effect

  • Shutters on chamber beam-ports triggered by pressure imbalance

  • Reduce inner building wall temperature

  • SiC coating everywhere except first wall

  • Thin (≈ 30 m) SiC undercoating on the first wall

  • Flood chamber with CO2

  • Plug hole in building!


Conclusions

Conclusions

  • The survival of the graphite first wall, in the event of an unlikely ingress of air, is critically dependent on the type of graphite used.

  • If the wrong type of graphite is chosen, the first wall could be completely oxidized in a few hours

  • If pyrolytic, or H-451 graphite is chosen, there should be little oxidation (even after a few months)

  • An experiment is needed to measure oxidation rates at reduced oxygen levels and at 200<T< 800 °C.


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