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Analysis of Low-Pressure ECC Injection Bypass of an ABWR During a Feedwater Line Break with RELAP5-3D/K

Thomas K. S. Liang, Chung-Yu Yang, Liang-Che Dai

Nuclear Technology

Volume 166 / Number 2 / May 2009 / Pages 146-155


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In the innovative design of the advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR), conventional recirculation loops are removed and replaced by multiple reactor internal pumps. Therefore, there is no major penetration of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) below the elevation of the top of active fuel. As a result, an ABWR loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) can have a decreased impact on reactor safety. Moreover, in the new RPV design the injection points of all the conventional low-pressure emergency core cooling (ECC) systems (ECCSs) are shifted out of the core shroud to the downcomer and feedwater line as a new low-pressure ECCS, namely, a low-pressure flooder (LPFL). Consequently, the net hydraulic head built inside the downcomer will be the only driving force to bring the low-pressure ECC water into the core shroud during a large-break LOCA. In the analysis of a feedwater line break with RELAP5-3D/K, it was occasionally found that the hydraulic head built in the downcomer might not be great enough to bring the ECC water into the core shroud, and when the mixture water column ascends above the elevation of the feedwater rings, all the water injected by the LPFL will be directly driven to the break on the feedwater line. Fortunately, the capacity of the remaining high-pressure ECC flow directly injected above the core is great enough, and this ECC low-pressure injection bypass phenomenon can be terminated once the high-pressure ECC injection is manually turned off. This phenomenon of low-pressure ECC injection bypass is unexpected in the ABWR design, and it is worth further investigation.

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