The 3-D physical and geometrical model of the water cooled pebble bed reactor (WCPBR) were built using the commercial software ProE and CFX, in which the thermal-hydraulic characteristics of the coolant were studied based on the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in this work. The velocity field, temperature field and pressure distribution of the coolant are obtained and analyzed in the case of inter-pebble gap and direct contact and its effects on the core safety are also analyzed. In the case of inter-pebble gap, the maximum temperature of the pebble was found in the range of gap, two minima pressures and two maximum velocities were found at the contact points. In the direct contact case, two maximum temperatures were found at the contact points and the maximum velocity was found in the range of gap. From the results, it is evident that the direct contact case is closer to actual case.

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