Nuclear Technology / Volume 181 / Number 1 / January 2013 / Pages 216-226
Technical Paper / Special Issue on the 14th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-14) / Fission Reactors; Reactor Safety
The LIVE-L4 and LIVE-L5L experiments investigated the thermal-hydraulic behavior of the corium pool in the reactor pressure vessel lower head with the three-dimensional test vessel LIVE. The simulant material is a noneutectic binary mixture of 20% NaNO3-80% KNO3. Transient and steady-state parameters such as melt temperature and heat flux distribution through the vessel wall as well as crust formation characteristics were obtained. The two tests demonstrated that transient events like repeated melt relocation and change of decay power density facilitate crust deformation and change of crust thickness. Massive crust formation in a noneutectic melt pool leads to a change of melt pool composition and a decrease of melt-crust interface temperature. The melt temperature and heat flux at the same pool height and same power density can be roughly compared independent of heating history and initial melt pouring pattern. The dimensionless melt temperature as well as the dimensionless heat flux through the wall during the steady state are independent of power density if the pools have the same height. But, they are dependent on the pool height. For a low pool, the gradients with height of both melt temperature and heat flux through the vessel are larger than those for a high pool.