In water cooled power reactor technology the containment system is an essential part of the defense in depth strategy in nuclear safety because it acts as an ultimate barrier against the release of fission products into the environment in case of severe accidents. The mechanisms which could jeopardize the effectiveness of a containment are: - open penetrations allowing radioactive material to contaminate neighbouring buildings, and: - formation and release of large amounts of hydrogen implying danger of explosions or detonations which might severely damage the containment shell. It was recognized in the US that hydrogen control was urgent enough to be regulated by the so-called "Severe Accident Rules". A hasty research program was started by the USNRC; what should be done meanwhile within the European Comunity? The technical approach should be based as follows: 1. The magnitude and probability of the hydrogen source term should be investigated in more detail. 2. In case large amounts of hydrogen could be linked with accident scenarios beyond the Design Basis Accident limitations (Class-9 accidents) mitigating measures would have to be found. 3. Reliable monitoring of the entire containment with respect to local hydrogen concentrations is mandatory. 4. Careful observation and evaluation of USNRC and EPRI funded research work is recommended.
Bibliographic Reference: EUROPEAN APPLIED RESEARCH REPORTS - NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SECTION, VOL. 6 (1984), NOS. 1 AND 2, PP. 209-266, (EUR 8803 EN).
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Record Number: 1989124009800 / Last updated on: 1987-01-01
Available languages: en