The numerical simulations of flow of water in AP1000 reactor coolant pump model are performed based on the Reynolds averaged N-S equations and RNG k-ε turbulence model by using SIMPLE algorithm. Firstly, the size of the gap between the impeller shroud and the diffuser side wall is designed with four values. Secondly, the flow field in the pumps with these sizes are simulated. Finally, the axial thrust and flow structures in the gap and collector are obtained and discussed under various gap sizes. The results show that the gap size has a certain impact on the pump head and efficiency in a range of 0.8Qd-1.2Qd flow rate. The change in gap size can cause a shift of best efficiency point from the design point, but the shift scale and direction do not correlate with the gap size evidently. Under the design condition, the pump efficiency at 0.6 mm gap is better than the others, and increased by 1.66% compared with 1.8mm gap. Under 1.2Qd flow condition, the pump is more efficient at 1.8 mm gap than at other gaps, and the pump efficiency is improved by 2.17% compared with 2.4 mm gap. Under all working conditions, the gap size has less influence on the axial thrust which shows a monotonic decreasing trend as the flow rate increases. The analytical axial thrust is much lower than the tested value obviously. But with increasing flow rate, the analytical axial thrust approaches the measurement.
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