Nuclear Technology / Volume 165 / Number 2 / February 2009 / Pages 145-165
Technical Paper / Thermal Hydraulics
In the TPA2 test of the CABRI-RAFT program, which is part of a fast reactor safety study, fuel-to-steel heat transfer characteristics within a molten fuel/steel mixture system have been investigated. This test was performed in the French CABRI reactor and used a test capsule that contained fresh 12.3%-enriched UO2 pellets with embedded stainless steel balls. Following a preheating phase, the capsule was subjected to a transient overpower that resulted in fuel melting and steel vaporization. The observed steel vapor pressure buildup was quite low, which suggested the presence of a mechanism that significantly reduced the fuel-to-steel heat transfer. A detailed experimental data evaluation by SIMMER-III led to one possible interpretation that the steel vaporization at the surface of the steel ball blanketed the steel from the molten fuel.