For natural circulation it is shown that parallel flow in the tubes of an inverted U-tube steam generator can be, at certain power levels, unstable. A mathematical model, based on one-dimensional Oberbeck-Boussinesq equations, shows that stability can be attained if in some tubes the water flows backward, opposite to the normal flow direction. The results are compared to measurements obtained from the natural circulation test A2-77A in the LOBI-MOD2 integral system test facility.

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