Experimental evaluation of pool fire suppression performance of sodium leak collection tray in open air

F. C. Parida, P. M. Rao, S. S. Ramesh, B. Malarvizhi, V. Gopalakrishnan, E. H.V.M. Rao, N. Kasinathan, S. E. Kannan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


In the event of sodium leakage from heat transfer circuits of fast breeder reactors (FBR), liquid sodium catches fire in ambient air leading to production of flame, smoke and heat. One of the passive fire protection methods involves immediate collection of the leaking sodium to a sodium hold-up vessel (SHV) covered with a sloping cover tray (SCT) having a few drain pipes and one vent pipe (as in Fig. 1). As soon as the liquid sodium falls on the sloping cover tray, gravity guides the sodium through drain pipes into the bottom tray in which self-extinction occurs due to oxygen starvation. This sodium fire protection equipment called leak collection tray (LCT) works without the intervention of an operator and external power source. A large number of LCTs are strategically arranged under the sodium circulating pipe lines in the FBR plants to serve as passive suppression devices. In order to test the efficacy of the LCT, four tests were conducted. Two tests were with LCT having three drain pipes and rest with one. In each experiment, nearly 40 kg of hot liquid sodium at 550°C was discharged on the LCT in the open air. Continuous on-line monitoring of temperature at strategic locations (∼ 28 points) were carried out. Colour videography was employed for taking motion pictures of various time-dependent events like sodium dumping, appearance of flame and release of smoke through vent pipes. After self-extinction of sodium fire, the LCT was allowed to cool overnight in an argon atmosphere. Solid samples of sodium debris in the SCT and SHV were collected by manual core drilling machine. The samples were subjected to chemical analysis for determination of unburnt and burnt sodium. The results of the four tests revealed an interesting feature: LCT with three drain pipes showed far lower sodium collection efficiency and much higher sodium combustion than that with just one drain pipe. Thermal fluctuations in temperature sensor located near the tip of the drain pipe have indicated that transient freezing and remelting processes are responsible for this phenomenon. Moreover comparison of test results between present and earlier experiments has revealed that the LCT with funnel shaped SCT is superior to that with boat shaped SCT.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFourteenth International Conference on Nuclear Engineering 2006, ICONE 14
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventFourteenth International Conference on Nuclear Engineering 2006, ICONE 14 - Miami, FL, United States
Duration: 17-07-200620-07-2006


ConferenceFourteenth International Conference on Nuclear Engineering 2006, ICONE 14
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMiami, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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