Description: In-Vessel Retention (IVR) of molten core debris by means of external reactor vessel flooding is a cornerstone of severe accident management for Westinghouse's AP600 (advanced passive light water reactor) design. The case for its effectiveness (made in previous work by the PI) has been thoroughly documented, reviewed as part of the licensing certification, and accepted by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A successful IVR would terminate a severe accident, passively, with the core in a stable, coolable configuration (within the lower head), thus avoiding the largely uncertain accident evolution with the molten debris on the containment floor. This passive plant design has been upgraded by Westinghouse to the AP1000, a 1000 MWe plant very similar to the AP600. The severe accident management approach is very similar too, including In-Vessel Retention as the cornerstone feature, and initial evaluations indicated that this would be feasible at the higher power as well. A similar strategy is adopted in Korea for the APR1400 plant. The overall goal of this project is to provide experimental data and develop the necessary basic understanding so as to allow the robust extension of the AP600 In-Vessel Retention strategy for severe accident management to higher power reactors, and in particular, to the AP1000 advanced passive design.
Date: May 18, 2004
Creator: Theofanous, T. G.; Oh, S. J. & Scobel, J. H.
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