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Investigations of the Tube Support Plate (TSP) clogging phenomenon in PWR steam generators - understanding and prioritization of its formation mechanisms

Abstract : The steam generator is an essential component in PWR. After 15-20 years of functioning, an obstruction by deposits of flow holes between Tube Support Plate (TSP) and primary tubes is observed, called TSP clogging. This phenomenon may lead to dramatic consequences for nuclear power plant operation. The aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of the mechanisms responsible for TSP clogging by identifying and prioritizing the preponderant processes. COLENTEC is an experimental facility designed to reproduce TSP clogging deposits under representative conditions. Microscopic characterizations allowed revealing the deposit formation by precipitation and the initiation role of material passivation in deposit formation. Lipping and ripple forms, specifying TSP clogging, were not observed in COLENTEC tests. This is suggested to be caused by insufficient concentration of suitable particles at the test section. Particle deposition is supposed to be essential for the formation of lipping deposits. Electrokinetic and flashing phenomena are supposed to contribute to TSP clogging formation. An experimental collaboration with the University of Manchester was established to better understand the clogging formation by investigating the role of electrokinetic phenomenon. This study allowed reforming deposits with lipping and ripple forms as observed in EDF steam generators. Electrokinetic involvement, strongly affected by flow velocity, was considerably suggested in TSP clogging formation. Numerical quantification of deposit formation by each phenomenon was performed and compared to EDF feedbacks. Electrokinetic phenomenon was found to play a predominant role.
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Guangze Yang. Investigations of the Tube Support Plate (TSP) clogging phenomenon in PWR steam generators - understanding and prioritization of its formation mechanisms. Chemical Physics [physics.chem-ph]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PA066441⟩. ⟨tel-01925862⟩

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