This study recaps the experimental effort to characterize a transverse plane flow field in a tightly-packed, 61-pin, wire-wrapped, hexagonal fuel bundle prototypical for a sodium fast reactor. The motive was to produce high spatiotemporal experimental data for computational fluid dynamics turbulence model validation. The matched-index-of-refraction and laser-based optical measurement techniques were utilized on an isothermal experimental flow facility. Measurements were performed on a transverse plane perpendicular to the axial flow. Fluid flow in the three types of subchannels (corner, exterior, and interior) were quantified. All measurements have been performed at a bundle-averaged Reynolds number of approximately 10,400. Results include flow statistics such as ensemble-averaged velocity, root-mean-square fluctuating velocity, and Reynolds stress. Of interest was the flow behavior around the restriction caused by the wire spacer and hexagonal duct wall, where recirculation regions formed. Regions of maximum and minimum momentum transfer coincided with regions of maximum and minimum fluctuations. These regions highlight locations of maximum and minimum cooling of the fuel pins. The experimental data will be used to benchmark computational fluid dynamics simulations of the sodium fast reactor fuel bundle using Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes and large-eddy simulation turbulence modeling methods.

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