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Title: Corium crust strength measurements.

Abstract

Corium strength is of interest in the context of a severe reactor accident in which molten core material melts through the reactor vessel and collects on the containment basemat. Some accident management strategies involve pouring water over the melt to solidify it and halt corium/concrete interactions. The effectiveness of this method could be influenced by the strength of the corium crust at the interface between the melt and coolant. A strong, coherent crust anchored to the containment walls could allow the yet-molten corium to fall away from the crust as it erodes the basemat, thereby thermally decoupling the melt from the coolant and sharply reducing the cooling rate. This paper presents a diverse collection of measurements of the mechanical strength of corium. The data is based on load tests of corium samples in three different contexts: (1) small blocks cut from the debris of the large-scale MACE experiments, (2) 30 cm-diameter, 75 kg ingots produced by SSWICS quench tests, and (3) high temperature crusts loaded during large-scale corium/concrete interaction (CCI) tests. In every case the corium consisted of varying proportions of UO{sub 2}, ZrO{sub 2}, and the constituents of concrete to represent a LWR melt at different stages of amore » molten core/concrete interaction. The collection of data was used to assess the strength and stability of an anchored, plant-scale crust. The results indicate that such a crust is likely to be too weak to support itself above the melt. It is therefore improbable that an anchored crust configuration could persist and the melt become thermally decoupled from the water layer to restrict cooling and prolong an attack of the reactor cavity concrete.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
Joint Cooperative MCCI project
OSTI Identifier:
985627
Report Number(s):
ANL/NE/JA-63326
Journal ID: 0029-5493; TRN: US1006171
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Nucl. Eng. Des.
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 239; Journal Issue: 11 ; Nov. 2009
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
ENGLISH
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; ACCIDENTS; CONCRETES; CONFIGURATION; CONTAINMENT; COOLANTS; CORIUM; DECOUPLING; MANAGEMENT; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; REACTOR VESSELS; STABILITY; WATER

Citation Formats

Lomperski, S., and Nuclear Engineering Division. Corium crust strength measurements.. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.06.013.
Lomperski, S., & Nuclear Engineering Division. Corium crust strength measurements.. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.06.013.
Lomperski, S., and Nuclear Engineering Division. Sun . "Corium crust strength measurements.". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.06.013.
@article{osti_985627,
title = {Corium crust strength measurements.},
author = {Lomperski, S. and Nuclear Engineering Division},
abstractNote = {Corium strength is of interest in the context of a severe reactor accident in which molten core material melts through the reactor vessel and collects on the containment basemat. Some accident management strategies involve pouring water over the melt to solidify it and halt corium/concrete interactions. The effectiveness of this method could be influenced by the strength of the corium crust at the interface between the melt and coolant. A strong, coherent crust anchored to the containment walls could allow the yet-molten corium to fall away from the crust as it erodes the basemat, thereby thermally decoupling the melt from the coolant and sharply reducing the cooling rate. This paper presents a diverse collection of measurements of the mechanical strength of corium. The data is based on load tests of corium samples in three different contexts: (1) small blocks cut from the debris of the large-scale MACE experiments, (2) 30 cm-diameter, 75 kg ingots produced by SSWICS quench tests, and (3) high temperature crusts loaded during large-scale corium/concrete interaction (CCI) tests. In every case the corium consisted of varying proportions of UO{sub 2}, ZrO{sub 2}, and the constituents of concrete to represent a LWR melt at different stages of a molten core/concrete interaction. The collection of data was used to assess the strength and stability of an anchored, plant-scale crust. The results indicate that such a crust is likely to be too weak to support itself above the melt. It is therefore improbable that an anchored crust configuration could persist and the melt become thermally decoupled from the water layer to restrict cooling and prolong an attack of the reactor cavity concrete.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.06.013},
journal = {Nucl. Eng. Des.},
number = 11 ; Nov. 2009,
volume = 239,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {11}
}