A reassessment of the potential for an alpha-mode containment failure and a review of the current understanding of broader fuel-coolant interaction issues. Second steam explosion review group workshop
Description: This report summarizes the review and evaluation by experts of the current understanding of the molten fuel-coolant interaction (FCI) issues covering the complete spectrum of interactions, i.e., from mild quenching to very energetic interactions including those that could lead to the alpha-mode containment failure. Of the eleven experts polled, all but two concluded that the alpha-mode failure issue was resolved from a risk perspective, meaning that this mode of failure is of very low probability, that it is of little or no significance to the overall risk from a nuclear power plant, and that any further reduction in residual uncertainties is not likely to change the probability in an appreciable manner. To a lesser degree, discussions also took place on the broader FCI issues such as mild quenching of core melt during non-explosive FCI, and shock loading of lower head and ex-vessel support structures arising from explosive localized FCIs. These latter issues are relevant with regard to determining the efficacy of certain accident management strategies for operating reactors as well as for advanced light water reactors. The experts reviewed the status of understanding of the FCI phenomena in the context of these broader issues, identified residual uncertainties in the understanding, and recommended future research (both experimental and analytical) to reduce the uncertainties.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Basu, S. & Ginsberg, T.
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