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Title: Performing Consequence Analysis for Multi-Unit/Spent Fuel Pool Source Terms.


Abstract not provided.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
International Atomic Energy Agency
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the IAEA Mission to Haiyang, China held April 27 - May 1, 2015 in Haiyang, China.
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Bixler, Nathan E. Performing Consequence Analysis for Multi-Unit/Spent Fuel Pool Source Terms.. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Bixler, Nathan E. Performing Consequence Analysis for Multi-Unit/Spent Fuel Pool Source Terms.. United States.
Bixler, Nathan E. 2015. "Performing Consequence Analysis for Multi-Unit/Spent Fuel Pool Source Terms.". United States. doi:.
title = {Performing Consequence Analysis for Multi-Unit/Spent Fuel Pool Source Terms.},
author = {Bixler, Nathan E.},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 4

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  • Source terms and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) storage pool decay heat load analyses for operating nuclear power plants require a large number of Oak Ridge Isotope Generation and Depletion (ORIGEN) calculations. SNF source term calculations also require a significant amount of bookkeeping to track quantities such as core and assembly operating histories, spent fuel pool (SFP) residence times, heavy metal masses, and enrichments. The ORIGEN Assembly Isotopics (ORIGAMI) module in the SCALE code system provides a simple scheme for entering these data. However, given the large scope of the analysis, extensive scripting is necessary to convert formats and process datamore » to create thousands of ORIGAMI input files (one per assembly) and to process the results into formats readily usable by follow-on analysis tools. This primer describes a project within the SCALE Fulcrum graphical user interface (GUI) called ORIGAMI Automator that was developed to automate the scripting and bookkeeping in large-scale source term analyses. The ORIGAMI Automator enables the analyst to (1) easily create, view, and edit the reactor site and assembly information, (2) automatically create and run ORIGAMI inputs, and (3) analyze the results from ORIGAMI. ORIGAMI Automator uses the standard ORIGEN binary concentrations files produced by ORIGAMI, with concentrations available at all time points in each assembly’s life. The GUI plots results such as mass, concentration, activity, and decay heat using a powerful new ORIGEN Post-Processing Utility for SCALE (OPUS) GUI component. This document includes a description and user guide for the GUI, a step-by-step tutorial for a simplified scenario, and appendices that document the file structures used.« less
  • Unit 4 of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered a hydrogen explosion at 6:00 am on March 15, 2011, exactly 3.64 days after the earthquake hit the plant and the off-site power was lost. The earthquake occurred on March 11 at 2:47 pm. Since the reactor of this Unit 4 was defueled on November 29, 2010, and all its fuel was stored in the spent fuel pool (SFP4), it was first believed that the explosion was caused by hydrogen generated by the spent fuel, in particular, by the recently discharged core. The hypothetical scenario was: power was lost, coolingmore » to the SFP4 water was lost, pool water heated/boiled, water level decreased, fuel was uncovered, hot Zircaloy reacted with steam, hydrogen was generated and accumulated above the pool, and the explosion occurred. Recent analyses of the radioisotopes present in the water of the SFP4 and underwater video indicated that this scenario did not occur - the fuel in this pool was not damaged and was never uncovered the hydrogen of the explosion was apparently generated in Unit 3 and transported through exhaust ducts that shared the same chimney with Unit 4. This paper will try to answer the following questions: Could that hypothetical scenario in the SFP4 had occurred? Could the spent fuel in the SPF4 generate enough hydrogen to produce the explosion that occurred 3.64 days after the earthquake? Given the magnitude of the explosion, it was estimated that at least 150 kg of hydrogen had to be generated. As part of the investigations of this accident, MELCOR models of the SFP4 were prepared and a series of calculations were completed. The latest version of MELCOR, version 2.1 (Ref. 1), was employed in these calculations. The spent fuel pool option for BWR fuel was selected in MELCOR. The MELCOR model of the SFP4 consists of a total of 1535 fuel assemblies out of which 548 assemblies are from the core defueled on Nov. 29, 2010, 783 assemblies are older assemblies, and 204 are new/fresh assemblies. The total decay heat of the fuel in the pool was, at the time of the accident, 2.284 MWt, of which 1.872 MWt were from the 548 assemblies of the last core discharged and 0.412 MWt were from the older 783 assemblies. These decay heat values were calculated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory using the ORIGEN2.2 code (Ref. 2) - they agree with values reported elsewhere (Ref. 3). The pool dimensions are 9.9 m x 12.2 m x 11.8 m (height), and with the water level at 11.5 m, the pool volume is 1389 m3, of which only 1240 m3 is water, as some volume is taken by the fuel and by the fuel racks. The initial water temperature of the SFP4 was assumed to be 301 K. The fuel racks are made of an aluminum alloy but are modeled in MELCOR with stainless steel and B4C. MELCOR calculations were completed for different initial water levels: 11.5 m (pool almost full, water is only 0.3 m below the top rim), 4.4577 m (top of the racks), 4.2 m, and 4.026 m (top of the active fuel). A calculation was also completed for a rapid loss of water due to a leak at the bottom of the pool, with the fuel rapidly uncovered and oxidized in air. Results of these calculations are shown in the enclosed Table I. The calculation with the initial water level at 11.5 m (full pool) takes 11 days for the water to boil down to the top of the fuel racks, 11.5 days for the fuel to be uncovered, 14.65 days to generate 150 kg of hydrogen and 19 days for the pool to be completely dry. The calculation with the initial water level at 4.4577 m, takes 1.1 days to uncover the fuel and 4.17 days to generate 150 kg of hydrogen. The calculation with the initial water level at 4.02 m takes 3.63 days to generate 150 kg of hydrogen this is exactly the time when the actual explosion occurred in Unit 4. Finally, fuel oxidation in air after the pool drained the water in 20 minutes, generates only 10 kg of hydrogen this is because very little steam is available and Zircaloy (Zr) oxidation with the oxygen of the air does not generate hydrogen. MELCOR calculated water levels and hydrogen generated in the SFP4 as a function of time for initial water levels of 4.457 m, 4.2 m and 4.02 m are shown in Figs. 1 and 2. Water levels increase at the beginning due to the expansion of the water during the heat-up from 301 K to 373 K. Boiling occurs after the water temperature reaches 373 K. The total amount of hydrogen generated is ~2000 kg, this amount includes hydrogen generated from Zr, which is the largest amount (~1580 kg), from stainless steel (~360 kg), and from B4C (~60 kg). In theory, it is possible to generate up to 3.4 kg of hydrogen per assembly (from oxidation of Zr in the fuel cladding and box), or a total of 4,525 kg from the hot 1331 assemblies stored in the SFP4. The hydrogen generated from oxidation of steel and B4C will be additional. So the answers to the questions are YES according to these MELCOR calculations, enough hydrogen (150 kg) could be generated in the SFP4 3.64 days after the earthquake to produce ...« less
  • To increase the spent fuel storage capacity at the Laguna Verde Station in a safe and economical manner and assure a continuous operation of the first Mexican Nuclear Plant, Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), the Nation's Utility, seeked alternatives considering the overall world situation, the safety and licensing aspects, as well as the economics and the extent of the nuclear program of Mexico. This paper describes the alternatives considered, their evaluation and how the decision taken by CFE in this field, provides the Laguna Verde Station with a maximum of 37 years storage capacity plus full core reserve.
  • The Dresden Nuclear Power Station, Unit 1 Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) (Exelon Generation Co.) was decommissioned using a new underwater coating strategy developed in cooperation with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). This was the first time that a commercial nuclear power plant (NPP) SFP was decommissioned using this underwater coating approach. This approach has advantages in many aspects, particularly in reducing airborne contamination and in safer, more cost effective deactivation. The process was pioneered at the INL and used to decommission three SFPs with a total combined pool volume of over 900,000 gallons. The INL provided engineering support and sharedmore » project plans to successfully initiate the Dresden project. This report outlines the steps taken by the INL and Exelon on the pathway for this activity. The rationale used to select the underwater coating option and the advantages and disadvantages are shown. Special circumstances, such as the use of a remotely operated underwater vehicle to map (visually and radiologically) the pool areas that were not readily accessible, are discussed. Several specific areas where special equipment was employed are given and a lessons learned evaluation is included. (authors)« less