To study the effect of the rotating speed on cavitation performance and inlet flow pattern of the nuclear reactor coolant pump, thenumerical simulation and cavitation test at different speeds are conducted for AP1000 nuclear reactor coolant pump by the use of theoretical analysis, numerical calculation and experiments, then cavitation characteristics with different speeds(30, 40, 50 Hz )and different flow rates(0.7Qd, 1.0Qd, 1.3Qd)are obtained. The relationship between the static pressure distribution of the impeller inlet section and flow performance of the pump is analyzed. The results show that the rotating speed has a greater impact on pump cavitation performance under low flow conditions. With rotating speed reduced, cavitation trend curve change under low flow conditions is more apparent than under the high the flow conditions. The model can more easily gain access to critical cavitation when the NPSHC reduced at a high rotating speed under rated flow at different rotating speeds. The NPSHC is lower when the model pump is at a low rotating speed, and the slope of lift curve declines slowly in cavitation. At a rated rotating speed, the model pump in high flow more easily gets access to the critical cavitation. With the rotating speed and flow decreasing, the flow rate decreases, a reflux at the inlet of the model at the beginning of the pilot phase is caused more likely, which disrupts the inlet flow field, thus resulting in local severe cavitation.
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