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The energetic fuel-coolant interaction (FCI) has long been recognised as an industrial hazard and, more recently, has been considered a possible hazard during a severe accident in a nuclear power plant. This paper focuses on the latter application, with specific emphasis on in-vessel and ex-vessel situations in which molten fuel may come into contact with the water coolant. It explains the rationale for current research into FCIs and discusses the important multi-phase flow issues that arise from such investigations. After many years of research on energetic FCIs there still appear to be three areas where the FCI is an important consideration: fuel melt quenching in a water pool, adding water to a degraded core and FCI energetics. These areas are being investigated by researchers in the European Community and United States. Such experiments involving international co-operation (e.g. FARO, KROTOS and MACE) are discussed briefly. In these experiments difficulties arise in measuring the appropriate quantities required to characterise the FCI phenomena, due to the high transient nature of processes involved. The important multi-phase flow topics on which further basic research may be needed to aid in FCI model validation, and the relation of these subjects to the FCI, are discussed.

Additional information

Authors: CORRADINI M L, University of Wisconsin, Nuclear Engineering Department, Madison (US);HOHMANN H, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Specialist Meeting on Transient Two-Phase Flow, Aix-en-Provence (FR), April 6-8, 1992
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36722 ORA
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