Fundamental Study of Heat Transfer to Supercritical Fluids in Support of the Development of Novel Inherently Safe Nuclear Reactors
Supervisor: Professor Shuisheng He

Nuclear power is recognised worldwide as having the potential to play an important part in providing sustainable, low-carbon and secure energy. Whereas the deployment of nuclear power is inevitable, ensuring total safety is of paramount importance, which has unfortunately been demonstrated in the recent events at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. Currently researchers from many countries are working together under the framework of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) to lay the groundwork for future advanced nuclear reactors, which promise significant improvements in economics, safety, reliability and sustainability over current reactors.

The Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR) is one of the six most promising designs to be further developed. A key enabling factor for the successful development of the SCWR is improving the understanding of supercritical pressure heat transfer and developing reliable and robust engineering analysis and modelling capabilities in this area.

The project aims at conducting leading edge research in advanced nuclear thermal hydraulic analysis and modelling for supercritical water-cooled reactor using advanced computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) will be used to study turbulence and heat transfer characteristics of supercritical fluid flow so as to deepen our understanding of the physics and to assist in improving the performance of turbulence models used in conventional CFD which have shown inability in predicting supercritical fluid flow.
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