When the primary reactor system remain pressurized during core meltdown for a typical PWR plant, loop seals formed in the primary reactor system would lead to natural circulations in hot leg and steam generator. In this case, the hot gas released from the reactor core moves to a steam generator, and a steam generator tube would be failed with cumulative creep damage. From such phenomena, a high-pressure scenario during core meltdown may lead to large release of fission products to the environment. In the present study, natural circulation and creep damage in the primary reactor system accompanying the hot gas generation in the reactor core were discussed and the combining analysis with MELCOR and FLUENT codes were performed to examine the natural circulation behavior. For a typical 4 loop PWR plant, MELCOR code which can analyze for the severe accident progression was applied to the accident analyses from accident initiation to reactor vessel failure for the accident sequence of the main steam pipe break which is maintained at high pressure during core meltdown. In addition, using the CFD code FLUENT, fluid dynamics in the reactor vessel plenum, hot leg and steam generator of one loop were simulated with three-dimensional coordinates. And the hot gas natural circulation flow and the heat transfer to adjoining structures were analyzed using results provided by the MELCOR code as boundary conditions. The both ratios of the natural circulation flow calculated in the hot leg and the steam generator using MELCOR code and FLUENT code were obtained to be about 2 (two). And using analytical results of thermal hydraulic analysis with both codes, creep damage analysis at hottest temperature points of steam generator tube and hot leg were carried out. The results in both cases showed that a steam generator tube would be failed with creep rupture earlier than that of hot leg rupture.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Natural Circulation and Creep Damage Analyses of Severe Accident for a Typical PWR Plant
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Kawabata, O, & Ogino, M. "Natural Circulation and Creep Damage Analyses of Severe Accident for a Typical PWR Plant." Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 2: Structural Integrity; Safety and Security; Advanced Applications of Nuclear Technology; Balance of Plant for Nuclear Applications. Brussels, Belgium. July 12–16, 2009. pp. 395-402. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE17-75219
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