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Title: MELCOR 1.8.5 modeling aspects of fission product release, transport and deposition an assessment with recommendations.

Abstract

The Phebus and VERCORS data have played an important role in contemporary understanding and modeling of fission product release and transport from damaged light water reactor fuel. The data from these test programs have allowed improvement of MELCOR modeling of release and transport processes for both low enrichment uranium fuel as well as high burnup and mixed oxide (MOX) fuels. This paper discusses the synthesis of these findings in the MELCOR severe accident code. Based on recent assessments of MELCOR 1.8.5 fission product release modeling against the Phebus FPT-1 test and on observations from the ISP-46 exercise, modifications to the default MELCOR 1.8.5 release models are recommended. The assessments identified an alternative set of Booth diffusion parameters recommended by ORNL (ORNL-Booth), which produced significantly improved release predictions for cesium and other fission product groups. Some adjustments to the scaling factors in the ORNL-Booth model were made for selected fission product groups, including UO{sub 2}, Mo and Ru in order to obtain better comparisons with the FPT-1 data. The adjusted model, referred to as 'Modified ORNL-Booth,' was subsequently compared to original ORNL VI fission product release experiments and to more recently performed French VERCORS tests, and the comparisons was as favorablemore » or better than the original CORSOR-M MELCOR default release model. These modified ORNL-Booth parameters, input to MELCOR 1.8.5 as 'sensitivity coefficients' (i.e. user input that over-rides the code defaults) are recommended for the interim period until improved release models can be implemented into MELCOR. For the case of ruthenium release in air-oxidizing conditions, some additional modifications to the Ru class vapor pressure are recommended based on estimates of the RuO{sub 2} vapor pressure over mildly hyperstoichiometric UO{sub 2}. The increased vapor pressure for this class significantly increases the net transport of Ru from the fuel to the gas stream. A formal model is needed. Deposition patterns in the Phebus FPT-1 circuit were also significantly improved by using the modified ORNL-Booth parameters, where retention of lower volatile Cs{sub 2}MoO{sub 4} is now predicted in the heated exit regions of the FPT-1 test, bringing down depositions in the FPT-1 steam generator tube to be in closer alignment with the experimental data. This improvement in 'RCS' deposition behavior preserves the overall correct release of cesium to the containment that was observed even with the default CORSOR-M model. Not correctly treated however is the release and transport of Ag to the FPT-1 containment. A model for Ag release from control rods is presently not available in MELCOR. Lack of this model is thought to be responsible for the underprediction by a factor of two of the total aerosol mass to the FPT-1 containment. It is suggested that this underprediction of airborne mass led to an underprediction of the aerosol agglomeration rate. Underprediction of the agglomeration rate leads to low predictions of the aerosol particle size in comparison to experimentally measured ones. Small particle size leads low predictions of the gravitational settling rate relative to the experimental data. This error, however, is a conservative one in that too-low settling rate would result in a larger source term to the environment. Implementation of an interim Ag release model is currently under study. In the course of this assessment, a review of MELCOR release models was performed and led to the identification of several areas for future improvements to MELCOR. These include upgrading the Booth release model to account for changes in local oxidizing/reducing conditions and including a fuel oxidation model to accommodate effects of fuel stoichiometry. Models such as implemented in the French ELSA code and described by Lewis are considered appropriate for MELCOR. A model for ruthenium release under air oxidizing conditions is also needed and should be included as part of a fuel oxidation model since fuel stoichiometry is a fundamental parameter in determining the vapor pressure of ruthenium oxides over the fuel. There is also a need to expand the MELCOR architecture for tracking fission product classes to allow for more speciation of fission products. An example is the formation of CsI and Cs{sub 2}MoO{sub 4} and potentially CsOH if all Mo is combined with Cs such that excess Cs exists in the fuel. Presently, MELCOR can track only one class combination (CsI) accurately, where excess Cs is assumed to be CsOH. Our recommended interim modifications map the CsOH (MELCOR Radionuclide Class 2) and Mo (Class 7) vapor pressure properties to Cs{sub 2}MoO{sub 4}, which approximates the desired formal class combination of Cs and Mo. Other extensions to handle properly iodine speciation from pool/gas chemistry are also needed.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
991532
Report Number(s):
SAND2010-1635
TRN: US1007527
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CONTAINMENT; CONTROL ELEMENTS; DEPOSITION; FISSION PRODUCT RELEASE; FISSION PRODUCTS; MODIFICATIONS; NUCLEAR FUELS; ORNL; PARTICLE SIZE; RADIOISOTOPES; RECOMMENDATIONS; RUTHENIUM; RUTHENIUM OXIDES; SOURCE TERMS; STEAM GENERATORS; STOICHIOMETRY; TRANSPORT; VAPOR PRESSURE; Light water reactors.; MELCOR (Computer program)

Citation Formats

Gauntt, Randall O. MELCOR 1.8.5 modeling aspects of fission product release, transport and deposition an assessment with recommendations.. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.2172/991532.
Gauntt, Randall O. MELCOR 1.8.5 modeling aspects of fission product release, transport and deposition an assessment with recommendations.. United States. doi:10.2172/991532.
Gauntt, Randall O. Thu . "MELCOR 1.8.5 modeling aspects of fission product release, transport and deposition an assessment with recommendations.". United States. doi:10.2172/991532. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/991532.
@article{osti_991532,
title = {MELCOR 1.8.5 modeling aspects of fission product release, transport and deposition an assessment with recommendations.},
author = {Gauntt, Randall O.},
abstractNote = {The Phebus and VERCORS data have played an important role in contemporary understanding and modeling of fission product release and transport from damaged light water reactor fuel. The data from these test programs have allowed improvement of MELCOR modeling of release and transport processes for both low enrichment uranium fuel as well as high burnup and mixed oxide (MOX) fuels. This paper discusses the synthesis of these findings in the MELCOR severe accident code. Based on recent assessments of MELCOR 1.8.5 fission product release modeling against the Phebus FPT-1 test and on observations from the ISP-46 exercise, modifications to the default MELCOR 1.8.5 release models are recommended. The assessments identified an alternative set of Booth diffusion parameters recommended by ORNL (ORNL-Booth), which produced significantly improved release predictions for cesium and other fission product groups. Some adjustments to the scaling factors in the ORNL-Booth model were made for selected fission product groups, including UO{sub 2}, Mo and Ru in order to obtain better comparisons with the FPT-1 data. The adjusted model, referred to as 'Modified ORNL-Booth,' was subsequently compared to original ORNL VI fission product release experiments and to more recently performed French VERCORS tests, and the comparisons was as favorable or better than the original CORSOR-M MELCOR default release model. These modified ORNL-Booth parameters, input to MELCOR 1.8.5 as 'sensitivity coefficients' (i.e. user input that over-rides the code defaults) are recommended for the interim period until improved release models can be implemented into MELCOR. For the case of ruthenium release in air-oxidizing conditions, some additional modifications to the Ru class vapor pressure are recommended based on estimates of the RuO{sub 2} vapor pressure over mildly hyperstoichiometric UO{sub 2}. The increased vapor pressure for this class significantly increases the net transport of Ru from the fuel to the gas stream. A formal model is needed. Deposition patterns in the Phebus FPT-1 circuit were also significantly improved by using the modified ORNL-Booth parameters, where retention of lower volatile Cs{sub 2}MoO{sub 4} is now predicted in the heated exit regions of the FPT-1 test, bringing down depositions in the FPT-1 steam generator tube to be in closer alignment with the experimental data. This improvement in 'RCS' deposition behavior preserves the overall correct release of cesium to the containment that was observed even with the default CORSOR-M model. Not correctly treated however is the release and transport of Ag to the FPT-1 containment. A model for Ag release from control rods is presently not available in MELCOR. Lack of this model is thought to be responsible for the underprediction by a factor of two of the total aerosol mass to the FPT-1 containment. It is suggested that this underprediction of airborne mass led to an underprediction of the aerosol agglomeration rate. Underprediction of the agglomeration rate leads to low predictions of the aerosol particle size in comparison to experimentally measured ones. Small particle size leads low predictions of the gravitational settling rate relative to the experimental data. This error, however, is a conservative one in that too-low settling rate would result in a larger source term to the environment. Implementation of an interim Ag release model is currently under study. In the course of this assessment, a review of MELCOR release models was performed and led to the identification of several areas for future improvements to MELCOR. These include upgrading the Booth release model to account for changes in local oxidizing/reducing conditions and including a fuel oxidation model to accommodate effects of fuel stoichiometry. Models such as implemented in the French ELSA code and described by Lewis are considered appropriate for MELCOR. A model for ruthenium release under air oxidizing conditions is also needed and should be included as part of a fuel oxidation model since fuel stoichiometry is a fundamental parameter in determining the vapor pressure of ruthenium oxides over the fuel. There is also a need to expand the MELCOR architecture for tracking fission product classes to allow for more speciation of fission products. An example is the formation of CsI and Cs{sub 2}MoO{sub 4} and potentially CsOH if all Mo is combined with Cs such that excess Cs exists in the fuel. Presently, MELCOR can track only one class combination (CsI) accurately, where excess Cs is assumed to be CsOH. Our recommended interim modifications map the CsOH (MELCOR Radionuclide Class 2) and Mo (Class 7) vapor pressure properties to Cs{sub 2}MoO{sub 4}, which approximates the desired formal class combination of Cs and Mo. Other extensions to handle properly iodine speciation from pool/gas chemistry are also needed.},
doi = {10.2172/991532},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {4}
}

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