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NachhaltigF: Angewandte Naturwissenschaften und WirtschaftsingenieurwesenF: Europan Campus Rottal-Inn
Studies of fuel dispersion after pin failure: Analysis of assumed blockage accidents for the MYRRHA–FASTEF critical core
Annals of Nuclear Energy, vol. 79, pp. 31-42
The present work has been carried out in the framework of the European FP7 project SEARCH, in which the MYRRHA demonstrator reactor is designed to be able to operate both in ADS mode and in critical mode using lead–bismuth eutectic (LBE) as primary coolant. According to the project task definition, the pin failure and fuel dispersion scenarios in severe accidents had to be extensively studied for reactor safety analysis. In this paper, the unprotected severe transients analyses for the MYRRHA–FASTEF critical core were performed using the SIMMER-III code. The aim of the current work is to obtain a deeper understanding of core material redistribution processes after pin damage. Since the fuel has almost the same density as the coolant, its pellets, chunks and particles will essentially be carried by the coolant flow, thus moving upwards out of the core and redistributing into the upper pool region and peripheral structures. Starting the simulations from the steady state configuration, relevant parameters reflect good agreement with the design operational conditions. For the transients, the most severe accident scenario proposed, that may possibly lead to pin failure and furthermore core damage, is the unprotected blockage accident (UBA). The calculation results show that after pin failure, the mobile fuel starts to re-distribute. In the meantime, the reactor stabilizes to shut-down status because of the fuel loss. Our results show that the blockage propagation is impossible thanks to the gap between fuel subassemblies.