Experiments on Corium Dispersion after Lower Head Failure at Moderate Pressure

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Concerning the mitigation of high pressure core melt scenarios, the design objective for future PWRS is to transfer high pressure core melt to low pressure core melt sequences, by means of pressure relief valves at the primary circuit, with such a discharge capacity to limit the pressure in the reactor coolant system to less than 20 bar. Studies have shown that in late in-vessel reflooding scenarios there may be a time window where the pressure is indeed in this range, at the moment of the reactor vessel rupture. It has to be verified that large quantities of corium released from ... continued below

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21 p.

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BLANCHAT,THOMAS K.; GARGALLO,M.; JACOBS,G.; MEYER,L. & WILHELM,D. September 21, 1999.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Concerning the mitigation of high pressure core melt scenarios, the design objective for future PWRS is to transfer high pressure core melt to low pressure core melt sequences, by means of pressure relief valves at the primary circuit, with such a discharge capacity to limit the pressure in the reactor coolant system to less than 20 bar. Studies have shown that in late in-vessel reflooding scenarios there may be a time window where the pressure is indeed in this range, at the moment of the reactor vessel rupture. It has to be verified that large quantities of corium released from the vessel after failure at pressures <20 bar cannot be carried out of the reactor pit, because the melt collecting and cooling concept of future PWRs would be rendered useless. Existing experiments investigated the melt dispersal phenomena in the context of the DCH resolution for existing power plants in the USA, most of them having cavities with large instrument tunnels leading into subcompartments. For such designs, breaches with small cross sections at high vessel failure pressures had been studied. However, some present and future European PWRs have an annular cavity design without a large pathway out of the cavity other than through the narrow annular gap between the RPV and the cavity wall. Therefore, an experimental program was launched, focusing on the annular cavity design and low pressure vessel failure. The first part of the program comprises two experiments which were performed with thermite melt steam and a prototypic atmosphere in the containment in a scale 1:10. The initial pressure in the RPV-model was 11 and 15 bars, and the breach was a hole at the center of the lower head with a scaled diameter of 100 cm and 40 cm, respectively. The main results were: 78% of melt mass were ejected out of the cavity with the large hole and 21% with the small hole; the maximum pressures in the model containment were 6 bar and 4 bar, respectively. In the second part of the experimental program a detailed investigation of geometry effects is being carried out. The test facility DISCO-C has been built for performing dispersion experiments with cold simulant materials in a 1/18 scale. The fluids are water or bismuth alloy instead of melt, and nitrogen or helium instead of steam.

Physical Description

21 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00014043

Medium: P; Size: 21 pages

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  • 15th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology, Seoul (KR), 08/23/1999--08/24/1999

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  • Report No.: SAND99-2467C
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14043
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624596

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  • September 21, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 7, 2017, 7:20 p.m.

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BLANCHAT,THOMAS K.; GARGALLO,M.; JACOBS,G.; MEYER,L. & WILHELM,D. Experiments on Corium Dispersion after Lower Head Failure at Moderate Pressure, article, September 21, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624596/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.