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Physics of the Reactor Meltdown Accident

Bernard L. Cohen

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 80 / Number 1 / Pages 47-60

January 1982

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The various sources and sinks for heat in the reactor fuel and in the containment atmosphere are followed as a function of time, and they are used to determine what combinations of failures would lead to fuel meltdown and to rupture of the containment. Heat transfer problems are discussed and it is shown that their rates are not generally limiting. In some cases, it is indicated that the Rasmussen study assumptions were highly conservative.

 
 
 
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