Arctic: ecology and economy
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Home » Archive of journals » No. 2(26) 2017 » Numerical modeling results of cryolithic zone’s thermal state while exploiting an underground multi-module small nuclear power plant


JOURNAL: No. 2(26) 2017, p. 82-90

HEADING: Safety of human activities in the Arctic

AUTHORS: Melnikov, N.N., Amosov, P.V., Klimin, S.G.

ORGANIZATIONS: Mining Institute of the Kola Science Center of RAS

DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2017-2-82-90

UDC: 624.039:551.34:51-37

The article was received on: 16.01.2017

Keywords: coefficient of thermal conductivity, cryolithic zone, volume of thawed rock, underground multi-module small nuclear power plant, thermal state, porosity

Bibliographic description: Melnikov, N.N., Amosov, P.V., Klimin, S.G. Numerical modeling results of cryolithic zone’s thermal state while exploiting an underground multi-module small nuclear power plant. Arctic: ecology and economy, 2017, no. 2(26), pp. 82-90. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2017-2-82-90. (In Russian).


The paper gives the 3D numerical modeling results of heat-transfer processes in cryolithic zone with accounting the ice-water phase transfer when placing a multi-module underground small nuclear power plant (SNPP) with two reactor plants and required infrastructure in permafrost thickness. To perform numerical tests there was designed a 3D model of heat-transfer processes through COMSOL software (option Conduction in Porous Media). A methodical approach was described which allows assessment of volume of thawed rocks occurring in the cryolithic zone when installing there thermal-generating sources. The assessment is based on integration of density by the cryolithic zone volume and known difference in ice and water density values.
A set of thermal-physical parameter values for the model’s main materials (rock matrix, lining) has been indicated as well as selected initial and boundary conditions. The calculations were performed at the fixed temperature of 20°С in the SNPP modules, at variation of a coefficient of thermal conductivity for the 1 meter lining of the SNPP modules (from 2.0 to 0.05 W/(m·K)) and at values of permafrost rocks porosity in an interval of 5-10%. For the observed boundary conditions there were determined space-time temperature distributions along the cryolithic zone space with accounting the ice-water phase transfer. Heterogeneity has been revealed in temperature distribution in the cryolithic zone’s modeled object; large areas of thawed permafrost rocks have been noticed in the space between the largest SNPP modules (reactor and machinery rooms). The examples are given of the temperature dynamics in a control point located between the machinery room and a technical service module. It has been established that under the values of the coefficient of lining’ thermal conductivity such as 2.0, 1.0 and 0.5 W/(m.K), the ice-water phase transfer in the control point is forecasted to be in 1.5, 2.1 and 3.1 exploitation years of the SNPP. Under smaller values of the coefficient of lining’ thermal conductivity the transfer through 0°С in the control point for the five-year exploitation lifetime is not forecasted. It has been shown that under the chosen value of temperature in the SNPP modules the efficient coefficient of thermal conductivity of lining material equal to 0.05 W/(m.K) allows providing the integrity of the cryolithic zone close to the object.
The multi-module underground small nuclear power plant has been a basis to implement the approach proposed and estimate (in the form of analytical dependencies) dynamics of thawed rocks volume and velocity of thawed permafrost rocks volume at varied porosity of cryolithic zone. It has been shown that minimal values of porosity agree with maximal values of thawed rocks and this doesn’t conflict with the physics of the process.

Finance info: Исследования выполнены в Горном институте Кольского научного центра РАН в рамках бюджетной темы 0232-2014-0027 «Разработка научных основ и методологии создания подземных комплексов для размещения атомных станций малой мощности (АСММ) в условиях Арктики» (научные руководители академик РАН Н. Н. Мельников и профессор, доктор технических наук В. П. Конухин)

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DOI 10.25283/2223-4594