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Title: Revisiting Insights from Three Mile Island Unit 2 Postaccident Examinations and Evaluations in View of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident

Abstract

The Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) accident, which occurred on March 28, 1979, led industry and regulators to enhance strategies to protect against severe accidents in commercial nuclear power plants. Investigations in the years after the accident concluded that at least 45% of the core had melted and that nearly 19 tonnes of the core material had relocated to the lower head. Postaccident examinations indicate that about half of that material formed a solid layer near the lower head and above it was a layer of fragmented rubble. As discussed in this paper, numerous insights related to pressurized water reactor accident progression were gained from postaccident evaluations of debris, reactor pressure vessel (RPV) specimens, and nozzles taken from the RPV. In addition, information gleaned from TMI-2 specimen evaluations and available data from plant instrumentation were used to improve severe accident simulation models that form the technical basis for reactor safety evaluations. Finally, the TMI-2 accident led the nuclear community to dedicate considerable effort toward understanding severe accident phenomenology as well as the potential for containment failure. Because available data suggest that significant amounts of fuel heated to temperatures near melting, the events at Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2, andmore » 3 offer an unexpected opportunity to gain similar understanding about boiling water reactor accident progression. To increase the international benefit from such an endeavor, we recommend that an international effort be initiated to (a) prioritize data needs; (b) identify techniques, samples, and sample evaluations needed to address each information need; and (c) help finance acquisition of the required data and conduct of the analyses.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1060422
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-12-24330
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5639
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 172; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5639
Publisher:
American Nuclear Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; Post-accident evaluations; Severe Accident Phenomena; Three Mile Island Unit 2

Citation Formats

Rempe, Joy, Farmer, Mitchell, Corradini, Michael, Ott, Larry, Gauntt, Randall, and Powers, Dana. Revisiting Insights from Three Mile Island Unit 2 Postaccident Examinations and Evaluations in View of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.13182/NSE12-3.
Rempe, Joy, Farmer, Mitchell, Corradini, Michael, Ott, Larry, Gauntt, Randall, & Powers, Dana. Revisiting Insights from Three Mile Island Unit 2 Postaccident Examinations and Evaluations in View of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident. United States. doi:10.13182/NSE12-3.
Rempe, Joy, Farmer, Mitchell, Corradini, Michael, Ott, Larry, Gauntt, Randall, and Powers, Dana. Thu . "Revisiting Insights from Three Mile Island Unit 2 Postaccident Examinations and Evaluations in View of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident". United States. doi:10.13182/NSE12-3.
@article{osti_1060422,
title = {Revisiting Insights from Three Mile Island Unit 2 Postaccident Examinations and Evaluations in View of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident},
author = {Rempe, Joy and Farmer, Mitchell and Corradini, Michael and Ott, Larry and Gauntt, Randall and Powers, Dana},
abstractNote = {The Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) accident, which occurred on March 28, 1979, led industry and regulators to enhance strategies to protect against severe accidents in commercial nuclear power plants. Investigations in the years after the accident concluded that at least 45% of the core had melted and that nearly 19 tonnes of the core material had relocated to the lower head. Postaccident examinations indicate that about half of that material formed a solid layer near the lower head and above it was a layer of fragmented rubble. As discussed in this paper, numerous insights related to pressurized water reactor accident progression were gained from postaccident evaluations of debris, reactor pressure vessel (RPV) specimens, and nozzles taken from the RPV. In addition, information gleaned from TMI-2 specimen evaluations and available data from plant instrumentation were used to improve severe accident simulation models that form the technical basis for reactor safety evaluations. Finally, the TMI-2 accident led the nuclear community to dedicate considerable effort toward understanding severe accident phenomenology as well as the potential for containment failure. Because available data suggest that significant amounts of fuel heated to temperatures near melting, the events at Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2, and 3 offer an unexpected opportunity to gain similar understanding about boiling water reactor accident progression. To increase the international benefit from such an endeavor, we recommend that an international effort be initiated to (a) prioritize data needs; (b) identify techniques, samples, and sample evaluations needed to address each information need; and (c) help finance acquisition of the required data and conduct of the analyses.},
doi = {10.13182/NSE12-3},
journal = {Nuclear Science and Engineering},
issn = {0029-5639},
number = 3,
volume = 172,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {11}
}