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ASTEC application to in-vessel corium retention

Funded under: FP7-EURATOM


This paper summarizes the work done in the SARNET European Network of Excellence on Severe Accidents (6th Framework Programme of the European Commission) on the capability of the ASTEC code to simulate in-vessel corium retention (IVR). This code, jointly developed by the French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN) and the German Gesellschaft für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit mbH (GRS) for simulation of severe accidents, is now considered as the European reference simulation tool.
First, the DIVA module of ASTEC code is briefly introduced. This module treats the core degradation and corium thermal behaviour, when relocated in the reactor lower head. Former ASTEC V1.2 version assumed a predefined stratified molten pool configuration with a metallic layer on the top of the volumetrically heated oxide pool. In order to reflect the results of the MASCA project, improved models that enable modelling of more general corium pool configurations were implemented by the CEA (France) into the DIVA module of the ASTEC V1.3 code.
In parallel, the CEA was working on ASTEC modelling of the external reactor vessel cooling (ERVC). The capability of the ASTEC CESAR circuit thermal-hydraulics to simulate the ERVC was tested. The conclusions were that the CESAR module is capable of simulating this system although some numerical and physical instabilities can occur. Developments were then made on the coupling between both DIVA and CESAR modules in close collaboration with IRSN. In specific conditions, code oscillations remain and an analysis was made to reduce the numerical part of these oscillations. A comparison of CESAR results of the SULTAN experiments (CEA) showed an agreement on the pressure differences.
The ASTEC V1.2 code version was applied to IVR simulation for VVER-440/V213 reactors assuming defined corium mass, composition and decay heat.

Additional information

Authors: TARABELLI D, Département de Recherches sur la Fusion Contrôlée, Association Euratom-CEA sur la Fusion, CEA Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (FR);RATEL G, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Grenoble (FR);PELISSON R, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Grenoble (FR);GUILLARD G, Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire (IRSN), Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (FR);BARNAK M, Inzinierska Vypoctova Spolocnost, Trnava (SL);MATEJOVIC P, Inzinierska Vypoctova Spolocnost, Trnava (SL)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Nuclear Engineering and Design, Volume 239, Issue 7, 2009, Pages 1345-1353
Availability: This article can be accessed online by subscribers, and can be ordered online by non-subscribers, at: doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.02.021
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