Condensation-induced water hammer (CIWH) is the most severe and has the highest frequency among the water hammer events occurred in nuclear power plants. Among mechanisms associated with this type of water hammer, the steam and water countercurrent flow in a horizontal pipe is known as the dominant mechanism in Pressurized Water Reactors.
The CIWH due to steam-water counter-flow in a long horizontal pipe has been analytically investigated with emphasis on the effect of pipe length, in order to identify the conditions necessary to initiate a water hammer and to provide stability maps describing the zone of water hammer to be avoided with the combination of filling water flowrate and pipe length. Analytical models which can be used to predict the limiting boundaries, upper and lower one, of CIWH initiation have been developed and the calculation results have been compared with the data of an actual incident occurred previously in a nuclear power plant. From the approach used in this study, boundary estimates including simple relationships between critical inlet water flowrates and pipe length-to-diameter on the CIWH intiation in a long horizontal pipe could be made, and several corrective actions to prevent water hammer recurrence could be taken. However, because of the limited understanding of the direct-contact condensation phenomena in the typical range of nuclear power plant operation, it is likely that the overall uncertainty of the analysis results will be high. Therefore, further research on this area including scaling analysis is required.