Sensitivity Analysis of a PWR Response During a Loss of Coolant Accident Under a Hypothetical Core Blockage Scenario Using RELAP5-3D
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Copyright © 2014 by ASME. During a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA) a substantial amount of debris may be generated in containment during the blowdown phase. This debris can become a major safety concern since it can potentially impact the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS). Debris, produced by the LOCA break flow and transported to the sump, could pass through the filtering systems (debris bed and sump strainer) in the long term cooling phase. If the debris were to sufficiently accumulate at the core inlet region, the core flow could theoretically decrease, affecting the core coolability. Under such conditions, the removal of decay heat would only be possible by coolant flow reaching the core through alternative flow paths, such as the core bypass (baffle). There are certain plant specific features that can play a major role in core cooling from this bypass flow. One of these of key interest is the pressure relief holes. A typical 4-loop Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) was modeled using RELAP5- 3D to simulate the reactor system response during the phases of a large break LOCA and the effectiveness of core cooling under full core blockage was analyzed. The simulation results showed that the presence of alternative flow paths may significantly increase core coolability and prevent cladding temperatures from reaching safety limits, while the lack of LOCA holes may lead to a conservative over-prediction of the cladding temperature.
author list (cited authors)
Crook, T., Vaghetto, R., Vanni, A., & Hassan, Y. A.