Rod heat transfer study, USA (no deadline specified)

1 November 2010

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is seeking to identify commercial organizations capable of providing technical assistance in performing experimental measurements in a controlled laboratory environment simulating the reflood scenario after a postulated LOCA of a nuclear reactor. The facility shall be capable to test the heater rods at full core height to a temperature of 2200 Deg F, and capable to provide steady-state and various mass flow rate for a system pressure from 20 to 60 psia.

Background

The NRC is responsible for the licensing and regulatory oversight of civilian nuclear power reactors in the United States. The Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES) furthers the regulatory mission of the NRC by providing technical advice, technical tools and information for identifying and resolving safety issues, making regulatory decisions, and promulgating regulations and guidance. RES conducts independent experiments and analyses, develops technical bases for supporting realistic safety decisions by the agency, and prepares the agency for the future by evaluating safety issues involving current and new designs and technologies. RES develops its program with consideration of Commission direction and input from the program offices and other stakeholders.

Reflood thermal-hydraulics represents an important set of phenomena during a hypothetical loss-of-coolant-accident (LOCA). These phenomena must be accurately simulated by systems codes in determining plant response to a LOCA. The NRC is currently assessing and improving the TRAC/RELAP Computational Engine (TRACE) code for best estimate analysis of light water reactors. While calculation of reflood by TRACE appears to be reasonable, higher accuracy is needed. Accurate prediction of the consequences of a LOCA is important because it is one of the postulated accident scenarios that determine the licensed core power and several other operational parameters.

As a result, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducts experimental investigations of reflood thermal-hydraulics in order to provide data for model development and to validate its systems codes. The NRC sponsored the design and construction of a Rod Bundle Heat Transfer (RBHT) Test Facility (Ref. NUREG/CR-6976 ML093640771), this RBHT Test Facility is designed to conduct systematic separate effects tests under well-controlled laboratory conditions in order to generate fundamental rod bundle heat transfer data from single phase cooling tests, low flow boiling tests, steam flow tests with and without droplet injection, inverted annular film boiling tests, and dispersed flow film boiling heat transfer tests in rod bundles. The facility is capable of operating in steady state forced and variable reflood modes covering a wide range of flow and heat transfer conditions at pressures from 0.134 to 0.402 MPa (20 to 60 psia).

Capability Sought

The NRC is seeking to identify commercial organizations capable of providing technical assistance in performing experimental measurements in a controlled laboratory environment simulating the reflood scenario after a postulated LOCA of a nuclear reactor. The facility shall be capable to test the heater rods at full core height to a temperature of 2200 Deg F, and capable to provide steady-state and various mass flow rate for a system pressure from 20 to 60 psia.

Specific capabilities of the test facility shall include: 1) a heater rod bundle of full height similar to a full height bundle in a reactor core with configuration similar to a portion of a typical pressurized water reactor (PWR) 17x17 fuel assembly with spacer grids; 2) instrumentation to provide detailed rod surface and spacer grid temperature in axial and lateral distribution; 3) instrumentation that provides test loop pressure and mass flow rate measurements; 4) a steam and water injection system that create pure steam flow or any droplet flow condition under reflood conditions; 5) sensors for steam and water temperature measurement; 6) instruments that can provide droplet size and velocity measurement at various elevations in the test section and void information; 7) data acquisition system that has at least 500 channels for data sampling and 10HZ data rate; 8) have a scaling analysis and QA plan ready on the test equipment; 9) have a QA plan for data acquisition methodology and plan for submitting data in NRC specified format; 10) Qualify test data and benchmark of new test results with existing cases; and 11) support of Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) presentations. RES requires contractor support to augment the available staff resources and provide access to experts with competencies, accrued knowledge, and highly specialized skills in the areas of, but not limited to: nuclear engineering, two-phase flow, heat transfer, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. RES requires qualified technical specialists with extensive expertise in the technical areas described.

The contractors should be technical experts in their field, with extensive research experience and active participation in cognizant nuclear reactor thermal-hydraulic committees. The contractors should have in-depth knowledge in their technical area in order to identify and resolve issues. The contractors should also be technically creditable to respond to technical questions during ACRS presentations based on their in-depth knowledge resulting from their education, research experience, and code committee activities.

Commercial organizations that are interested in supporting our technical assistance requirements please address the market research questions below and provide capability information on your staff's qualifications and your firm's corporate experiences and qualifications on similar contracts or efforts. In addition, to provide an overview of your company's capabilities please complete the attached spreadsheet for those technical areas for which your firm has expertise. When completing the spreadsheets, please provide specific entries for potentially available qualified candidates. In each of the technical areas of expertise and education, if it applies, enter the candidates' relevant years of work experience, research experience, national code committee (IEEE, ASME, ASTM, etc...) experience, code committee names, and degree title.

Market Research Questions

1) Organization name, address, email address, Web site address and telephone number

2) How long has your company been in operation?

3) What type of business is your company (i.e., small, 8(a), service-disabled veteran-owned, etc.)?

4) How many people does your company employ, including consultants? Please break down the mix between the two categories.

5) Describe teaming arrangements your company has formed to perform scopes of work outside your core competencies. Describe both the type of work and how you managed it.

6) Has your company previously faced organizational conflict of interest issues with NRC? How were they resolved?

7) List any companies or government agencies your company either plans to or has performed work for related to civilian nuclear reactors. Describe the work performed.

8) Although no geographic restriction is anticipated, if responding organizations are located outside the Washington Metropolitan area, indicate how the organization would coordinate with the NRC program office located in Rockville, MD to provide support to multiple sites.

9) Describe any other information your company deems relevant to support NRC License Renewal activities.

For questions No. 1 thru No. 9, please limit your response to no more than three pages total.

Contracting Office Address:

12300 Twinbrook Parkway

Rockville, Maryland 20852-2738

United States

Primary Point of Contact.:

Jeffrey R. Mitchell

jeffrey.mitchell@nrc.gov

Phone: (301) 492-3639

Fax: (301) 492-3437




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