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Behavior of VVER Fuel Rods Tested Under Severe Accident Conditions in the CODEX Facility

Zoltán Hózer, László Maróti, Péter Windberg, Lajos Matus, Imre Nagy, György Gyenes, Márta Horváth, Anna Pintér, Márton Balaskó, Aladár Czitrovszky, Péter Jani, Attila Nagy, Oleg Prokopiev, Béla Tóth

Nuclear Technology / Volume 154 / Number 3 / June 2006 / Pages 302-317

Technical Paper / Reactor Safety

The early phase of severe accidents in VVER reactors was simulated in the CODEX (COre Degradation EXperiment) facility with electrically heated fuel rod bundles. The selected test conditions and applied measurement techniques made possible the observation of some specific phenomena, such as the protective role of oxide scale during quenching of high-temperature bundles, the composition of gases produced during the oxidation of boron-carbide control rods, and the interlink between the aerosol release and the oxidation process. The general behavior of the VVER bundles did not differ significantly from that of the Western-design light water reactor bundles tested under similar high-temperature conditions, but the experiments emphasized that the application of VVER-specific material properties and models is essential for comprehensive numerical simulations.

 
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