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Corium-Sodium and Corium-Water Fuel-Coolant-Interaction Experimental Programs for the PLINIUS2 Prototypic Corium Platform

Christophe Journeau, Laurence Aufore, Léonie Berge, Claude Brayer, Nathalie Cassiaut-Louis, Nicolas Estre, Frédéric Payot, Pascal Piluso, Jean-Christophe Prele, Shifali Singh, Magali Zabiégo, Eric Pluyette, Frédéric Serre, Béatrice Teisseire

Nuclear Technology / Volume 205 / Number 1-2 / January-February 2019 / Pages 239-247

Technical Paper /

Received:April 25, 2018
Accepted:May 18, 2018
Published:December 12, 2018

Fuel-coolant interaction (FCI) is an important issue for the assessment of severe accident safety for both sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs) and pressurized water reactors (PWRs). For the ASTRID SFR demonstrator, FCI is a key phenomenon affecting the relocation of molten fuel in engineered discharge tubes between the core region and the core catcher plenum. FCI controls jet fragmentation and debris bed formation and raises the issue of potentially energetic vapor explosions in the ASTRID lower head. In this frame, experimental data will be necessary to validate SCONE, the fuel-sodium interaction code under development at CEA. For PWRs, one of the configurations of interest lies within the residual case where in-vessel retention would fail. In this case, it is expected that a light metallic layer would be the first to interact with water, before a heavier oxide melt discharge. Here, steam explosion and debris bed formation are the two major points of interest. Based on the experimental expertise gained from the KROTOS facility and its X-ray radioscopic imaging system, new test facilities have been designed to carry out prototypic (depleted uranium–containing) corium interactions with either sodium or water in PLINIUS2, the CEA future large-mass experimental platform dealing with masses above 100 kg. Some test sections have been specially designed to ensure proper visualization of the fuel, liquid coolant, and vapor phases by an improved X-Ray imaging system. This paper presents the future PLINIUS 2 platform as well as the experimental programs foreseen to study both water-corium and sodium-corium interactions.

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