Open Access Nano Express

Design process of the nanofluid injection mechanism in nuclear power plants

Myoung-suk Kang1, Changhyun Jee1, Sangjun Park1, In Choel Bang2 and Gyunyoung Heo1*

Author Affiliations

1 Kyung Hee University, 1 Seocheon-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 446-701, Republic of Korea

2 Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, 100 Banyeon-ri, Eonyang-eup, Ulju-gun, Ulsan-si 689-798, Republic of Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:363  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-363

Published: 27 April 2011

Abstract

Nanofluids, which are engineered suspensions of nanoparticles in a solvent such as water, have been found to show enhanced coolant properties such as higher critical heat flux and surface wettability at modest concentrations, which is a useful characteristic in nuclear power plants (NPPs). This study attempted to provide an example of engineering applications in NPPs using nanofluid technology. From these motivations, the conceptual designs of the emergency core cooling systems (ECCSs) assisted by nanofluid injection mechanism were proposed after following a design framework to develop complex engineering systems. We focused on the analysis of functional requirements for integrating the conventional ECCSs and nanofluid injection mechanism without loss of performance and reliability. Three candidates of nanofluid-engineered ECCS proposed in previous researches were investigated by applying axiomatic design (AD) in the manner of reverse engineering and it enabled to identify the compatibility of functional requirements and potential design vulnerabilities. The methods to enhance such vulnerabilities were referred from TRIZ and concretized for the ECCS of the Korean nuclear power plant. The results show a method to decouple the ECCS designs with the installation of a separate nanofluids injection tank adjacent to the safety injection tanks such that a low pH environment for nanofluids can be maintained at atmospheric pressure which is favorable for their injection in passive manner.