Possible Methods to Estimate Core Location in a Beyond-Design-Basis Accident at a GE BWR with a Mark I Containment Stucture

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It is difficult to track to the location of a melted core in a GE BWR with Mark I containment during a beyond-design-basis accident. The Cooper Nuclear Station provided a baseline of normal material distributions and shielding configurations for the GE BWR with Mark I containment. Starting with source terms for a design-basis accident, methods and remote observation points were investigated to allow tracking of a melted core during a beyond-design-basis accident. The design of the GE BWR with Mark-I containment highlights an amazing poverty of expectations regarding a common mode failure of all reactor core cooling systems resulting in ... continued below

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PDF-file: 10 pages; size: 15.5 Mbytes

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Walston, S; Rowland, M & Campbell, K July 27, 2011.

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It is difficult to track to the location of a melted core in a GE BWR with Mark I containment during a beyond-design-basis accident. The Cooper Nuclear Station provided a baseline of normal material distributions and shielding configurations for the GE BWR with Mark I containment. Starting with source terms for a design-basis accident, methods and remote observation points were investigated to allow tracking of a melted core during a beyond-design-basis accident. The design of the GE BWR with Mark-I containment highlights an amazing poverty of expectations regarding a common mode failure of all reactor core cooling systems resulting in a beyond-design-basis accident from the simple loss of electric power. This design is shown in Figure 1. The station blackout accident scenario has been consistently identified as the leading contributor to calculated probabilities for core damage. While NRC-approved models and calculations provide guidance for indirect methods to assess core damage during a beyond-design-basis loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA), there appears to be no established method to track the location of the core directly should the LOCA include a degree of fuel melt. We came to the conclusion that - starting with detailed calculations which estimate the release and movement of gaseous and soluble fission products from the fuel - selected dose readings in specific rooms of the reactor building should allow the location of the core to be verified.

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PDF-file: 10 pages; size: 15.5 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-491611
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1022912 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1022912
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc830116

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  • July 27, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 4:14 p.m.

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Walston, S; Rowland, M & Campbell, K. Possible Methods to Estimate Core Location in a Beyond-Design-Basis Accident at a GE BWR with a Mark I Containment Stucture, report, July 27, 2011; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc830116/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.