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The development of a corium pool in the lower head and its behaviour is still a critical issue. This concerns, in general, the understanding of a severe accident with core melting, its course, major critical phases and timing, and the influence of these processes on the accident progression as well as, in particular, the evaluation of in-vessel melt retention by external vessel flooding as an accident mitigation strategy. Previous studies were especially related to the in-vessel retention question and often just concentrated on the quasi-steady state behaviour of a large molten pool in the lower head, considered as a bounding configuration. However, non-feasibility of the in-vessel retention concept for high power density reactors and uncertainties e.g. due to layering effects even for low or medium power reactors, turns this to be insufficient. Rather, it is essential to consider the whole evolution of the accident, including e.g. formation and growth of the in-core melt pool, characteristics of corium arrival in the lower head, and molten pool behaviour after the debris re-melting. These phenomena have a strong impact on a potential termination of a severe accident. The general objective of the LIVE program at FZK is to study these phenomena resulting from core melting experimentally in large-scale 3D geometry and in supporting separate-effects tests, with emphasis on the transient behaviour.
Up to now, several tests on molten pool behaviour have been performed within the LIVE experimental program with water and with non-eutectic melts (KNO3-NaNO3) as simulant fluids. The results of these experiments, performed in nearly adiabatic and in isothermal conditions, allow a direct comparison with findings obtained earlier in other experimental programs (SIMECO, ACOPO, BALI, etc.) and will be used for the assessment of the correlations derived for the molten pool behaviour.

Additional information

Authors: BUCK M, Institut für Kernenergetik und Energiesysteme, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart (DE);BÜRGER M, Institut für Kernenergetik und Energiesysteme, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart (DE);MIASSOEDOV A, IRSN Forschungzentrum Karlsruhe (FZK), Karlsruhe (DE);GAUS-LIU X, IRSN Forschungzentrum Karlsruhe (FZK), Karlsruhe (DE);PALAGIN A, IRSN Forschungzentrum Karlsruhe (FZK), Karlsruhe (DE);GODIN-JACQMIN L, Département de Recherches sur la Fusion Contrôlée, Association Euratom-CEA sur la Fusion, CEA Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (FR);TRAN C T, Kungl Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), AlbaNova University Center, Stockholm (SE);MA W M, Kungl Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), AlbaNova University Center, Stockholm (SE);CHUDANOV V, Nuclear Safety Institute, Moscow (RU)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Progress in Nuclear Energy, Volume 52, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 46-60
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