Modeling stationary and moving pebbles in a pebble bed reactor

S. Zhang, T. Montgomery, X. Zhao
Annals of Nuclear Energy
Discrete Element Method (DEM), Granular flow, Hopper flow, Packing structure, Pebble bed reactor (PBR)

This paper presents a numerical study of the stationary and moving pebbles in a pebble bed reactor (PBR) by means of discrete element method (DEM). The packing structure of stationary pebbles is simulated by a filling process that terminates with the settling of the pebbles into a PBR. The packing structural properties are obtained and analyzed. Subsequently, when the outlet of the PBR is opened during the operation of the PBR, the stationary pebbles start to flow downward and are removed at the bottom of the PBR. The dynamic behavior of pebbles is predicted and discussed. Our results indicate the DEM can offer both macroscopic and microscopic information for PBR design calculations and safety assessment.

Keywords: Discrete element method (DEM), Pebble bed reactor (PBR), Packing structure, Hopper flow, Granular flow

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