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Title: Modeling of the Reactor Core Isolation Cooling Response to Beyond Design Basis Operations - Interim Report

Efforts are being pursued to develop and qualify a system-level model of a reactor core isolation (RCIC) steam-turbine-driven pump. The model is being developed with the intent of employing it to inform the design of experimental configurations for full-scale RCIC testing. The model is expected to be especially valuable in sizing equipment needed in the testing. An additional intent is to use the model in understanding more fully how RCIC apparently managed to operate far removed from its design envelope in the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 accident. RCIC modeling is proceeding along two avenues that are expected to complement each other well. The first avenue is the continued development of the system-level RCIC model that will serve in simulating a full reactor system or full experimental configuration of which a RCIC system is part. The model reasonably represents a RCIC system today, especially given design operating conditions, but lacks specifics that are likely important in representing the off-design conditions a RCIC system might experience in an emergency situation such as a loss of all electrical power. A known specific lacking in the system model, for example, is the efficiency at which a flashing slug of water (as opposed to amore » concentrated jet of steam) could propel the rotating drive wheel of a RCIC turbine. To address this specific, the second avenue is being pursued wherein computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses of such a jet are being carried out. The results of the CFD analyses will thus complement and inform the system modeling. The system modeling will, in turn, complement the CFD analysis by providing the system information needed to impose appropriate boundary conditions on the CFD simulations. The system model will be used to inform the selection of configurations and equipment best suitable of supporting planned RCIC experimental testing. Preliminary investigations with the RCIC model indicate that liquid water ingestion by the turbine decreases the developed turbine torque; the RCIC speed then slows, and thus the pump flow rate to the RPV decreases. Subsequently, RPV water level decreases due to continued boiling and the liquid fraction flowing to the RCIC decreases, thereby accelerating the RCIC and refilling the RPV. The feedback cycle then repeats itself and/or reaches a quasi-steady equilibrium condition. In other words, the water carry-over is limited by cyclic RCIC performance degradation, and hence the system becomes self-regulating. The indications achieved to date with the system model are more qualitative than quantitative. The avenues being pursued to increase the fidelity of the model are expected to add quantitative realism. The end product will be generic in the sense that the RCIC model will be incorporable within the larger reactor coolant system model of any nuclear power plant or experimental configuration.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1229703
Report Number(s):
SAND--2015-10662
614868; TRN: US1600176
DOE Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Nuclear Reactor Technologies (NE-7)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; STEAM TURBINES; RCIC SYSTEMS; PUMPS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; WATER; DESIGN; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; CONFIGURATION; FUKUSHIMA-2 REACTOR; REACTOR ACCIDENTS; FLASHING; TESTING; FLUID MECHANICS; BOILING; INGESTION; BOUNDARY CONDITIONS; FLOW RATE; EFFICIENCY; EQUILIBRIUM; FEEDBACK; PERFORMANCE; SIZE; TORQUE; JETS