An experimental investigation was conducted in a natural circulation (NC) loop to study the characteristics of two-phase flow instability under low pressure condition. A 3 × 3 rod bundle channel was used as the test section. The effects of heating power, inlet subcooling degree and system pressure on the two-phase NC flow instability types and stable boundaries were studied. The experimental results show that three typical flow conditions can occur in rod bundle channel under NC condition, which are single-phase NC flow, subcooled boiling NC flow oscillation and density wave oscillations (DWO). The oscillation amplitude and period of DWO can be enlarged by increasing the heat flux. Increasing the inlet subcooling degree can increase the marginal heating power of flow instability in NC system. The occurrence of DWO can be suppressed by increasing the system pressure. The flow instability boundary presented by the subcooling number and phase change number was also obtained in present work.

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