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European Experiments on 2-D Molten Core Concrete Interaction: HECLA and VULCANO

Christophe Journeau, Jean Michel Bonnet, Eric Boccaccio, Pascal Piluso, Jose Monerris, Michel Breton, Gerald Fritz, Tuomo Sevón, Pekka H. Pankakoski, Stefan Holmström, Jouko Virta

Nuclear Technology

Volume 170 / Number 1 / April 2010 / Pages 189-200


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This paper presents results from two ongoing European experimental programs on molten core concrete interactions: HECLA at VTT and VULCANO at the Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique. In the HECLA experiments, metallic melt is poured into a cylindrical concrete crucible. The focus is on the initial, pouring phase of the interaction. Therefore, decay heat simulation is not required. The HECLA-2 experiment involved 50 kg of stainless steel at 1700°C and siliceous concrete. The final ablation depths were 25-30 mm in the basemat and [approximately]15 mm in the side wall. The VULCANO VB experiments have been devoted to the study of the interaction of 28 to 45 kg of oxidic corium with silica-rich or limestone-rich concretes. These tests focus on long-term ablation and require the use of induction heating to simulate the decay heat fluxes. Anisotropic ablation between the horizontal and vertical direction has been observed with silica-rich concrete, confirming the CCI tests. A new series of experiments VULCANO VBS has been launched in which there are both oxide and metallic phases in the melt. In these tests, magnetic screening is used so that the induction power is provided almost only to the upper oxidic layer after stratification.

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