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Analysis of External Cooling of the Reactor Vessel During Severe Accidents

Jin Ho Song, Sang Baik Kim, Hee Dong Kim

Nuclear Technology / Volume 138 / Number 1 / Pages 79-89

April 2002

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An analysis is presented of the integral behavior of the external cooling of a reactor vessel by natural circulation during a severe accident to investigate the feasibility of the in-vessel retention strategy for a high-power reactor by using the RELAP5/MOD3 computer code. It is shown that two-phase flow instability phenomena, including natural-circulation oscillation and density wave oscillations, affect the local thermal margin at the reactor vessel wall. The heat load on the reactor vessel is simplified as a uniform heat flux load of 600 kW/m2 in the base case. A sensitivity study for the effect of the inlet K factor, nonuniform heat flux distribution, inlet flow area, and subcooling of the pool water is performed to evaluate the local thermal margin. The results of the analysis show that natural-circulation cooling is marginal at this level of heat flux. It also clearly indicates that a system level of analysis for two-phase natural circulation, including the sensitivity study on the design parameters, is necessary to ensure successful implementation of the external cooling.

 
 
 
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