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Nuclear Power Facility with Thermosiphon Cooling


Experimental Investigation of a New Nuclear Power Facility with Thermosiphon Cooling

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-NSS/Nuclear Safety and Safeguarding/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-REA/Reactor Concept/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Tbilisi State University / Institute of Physics (Ge), Georgia, Tbilisi

Supporting institutes

  • NII Optica, Georgia, Tbilisi


  • University of Miami, USA, FL, Coral Gables\nENEA / Institute of Thermal-Fluid Dynamics, Italy, Rome

Project summary

The purpose of the Project. The development of a new type cooling system, ensuring the safe operation of a power nuclear facility, the theoretical and experimental investigations on the creation of a new type cooling system on the basis of thermosiphon for a power nuclear facility, intended for carrying out on its basis the energetic, medical-biological and other investigations of scientific and applied character having the fundamental importance for Georgia.

Another purpose of the project is the development a new type cooling system for nuclear facility, which allows improving the ecological situation around a nuclear reactor and thermal and energetic efficiency of a whole nuclear facility, also the theoretical analysis and the calculation of the influence of thermosiphon on the physical parameters of the core.

The specific goal of the Project is the creation of a test stand-simulator of nuclear facility, on which the hydro- and thermophysical processes inside the thermosiphon will be studied by a new contactless and inertialess electric capacitance method based on the dependence of capacitance on the characteristics of two-phase fluxes between the plates of capacitor, as well as the study of the new method for increase of heat transfer from the external and internal sides of thermosiphon.

Urgency of the problem. The study of the problem connected with the creation of a new type cooling system on the basis of thermosiphon for cooling the core of nuclear reactor can turn to be very interesting and urgent for other similar facilities, requiring such efficient and safe cooling system. Therefore, the results of this project on the proposed new system of cooling can be interesting not only for Georgia, but for other countries facing the same problem.

Nowadays the problem set in the given project has not only the practical importance, but is of great scientific interest as well. However, the solution of this problem is not very simple because of its multiple characters. Therefore, the joint participation of the specialists of the physics and engineering of nuclear reactors and of the specialists of the physics of heat, of electric engineering, mechanics and of other fields in this project makes the successful solution of this problem quite real. Besides, the results of investigations within the frames of the project can become useful and applicable for nuclear reactors of different type.

The set goal can be achieved on the basis of scientific-technical developments carried out by the Institute of Physics in the sphere of physics and engineering of nuclear reactors, as well as by the Institute OPTICA in the sphere of heat exchange, hydrodynamics, exact mechanics and materials science.

The innovations and scientific distinctive of our Project are the following:

  1. The possibility of creation of a power nuclear facility with a new system of cooling the core on the basis of thermosiphon will be studied for the first time.
  2. For effective heat removal, the core of nuclear facility will be fully located in the zone of thermosiphon-cooler for the first time.
  3. The problems of heat removal from the simulator of fuel element by means of thermosiphon will be studied for the first time on the pilot installation, allowing to create the cooling system operating in the regime of efficient self-control of water temperature in the tank of nuclear reactor and to provide the appreciable inverse power effect of reactivity.
  4. The hydrodynamic and heat parameters of two-phase layer inside the thermosiphon will be measured on the basis of a new contactless and inertialess electric capacitance method for the first time.
  5. The theoretical calculations of neutron-physical parameters of nuclear reactor cooled by thermosiphon will be carried out for the first time.

Scientific benefits: The main scientific benefit of the proposed project is the obtaining of new data on the operation of power nuclear facility with thermosiphon-cooler. It will be obtained also the data on heat and hydrodynamic characteristics of two-phase boiling layer inside the thermosiphon, providing safe and stable operation of nuclear facility with thermosiphon cooling.

Practical benefits: on the basis of thermosiphon, a new system of cooling the core will be developed, allowing to increase significantly the level of safe operation of a power nuclear facility.

The ecological benefit of the project: The creation and application of the cooling system using thermosiphon will allow to decrease significantly the risk of possible emergency situations, connected with the violation of temperature regimes of a power nuclear facility and correspondingly, will decrease remarkably the probability of possible negative effect of the nuclear facility on the personnel and the environment.

The importance of this Project for Georgian scientists and economics. The development and application of the cooling system using thermosiphon will significantly facilitate the realization of the power nuclear facility intended for medical-biological and other investigations, having a great importance both for science and engineering and for economics of Georgia. This, in its turn, will allow to keep the already existed jobs and to create new work places, to provide pays for high-skilled former « weapon scientists» and specialists involved in the spheres of the physics and engineering of nuclear reactors, of the physics of heat, electronics, mechanics, etc.

The foreign collaborators of the Project:

  • Dr. Gian Piero Celata, Professor, Secretary of the Scientific Council, ENEA, Via Anguillarese, 301 S.M. Galeria, Rome, 00060, Italy, Tel.: +39 06 3048 3905, Fax.: +39 06 3048 3026, E-mail:;
  • Dr. Sadik Kakac, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, McArthur Engineering Building, Room 221, University of Miami, P.O. Box 248294, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0620, USA. Tel./Fax.: (305) 284-3337, E-mail:

Conclusions. In the end of this Project we can make the following conclusions:
  1. Will be investigated opportunities of creation of nuclear power facility with new thermosiphon cooling system;
  2. The experimental device, created by us, for simulate a nuclear installation work will enable to estimate amount of power produced by it with use of thermosiphon cooling system;
  3. New system of thermosiphon cooling demands the minimal expense of energy that increases whole efficiency of nuclear power system;
  4. Performance of the presented project about thermosiphon cooling will promote creation of the nuclear device, more safe and less-polluting for an environment;
  5. It will be carry out sufficiently great number of calculations for investigate of influence of thermosiphon cooling system on neutron-physical parameters of nuclear facility and for its optimization.

Project will be implemented by the joint efforts of two research institutes: L.E.P.L. E.Andronikashvili Institute of Physics, Georgia and L.E.P.L. Institute OPTICA, Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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