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Research Papers

The Influence of Crust Layer on Reactor Pressure Vessel Failure Under Pressurized Core Meltdown Accident

[+] Author and Article Information
Jianfeng Mao

Institute of Process Equipment and
Control Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology,
Hangzhou 310032, China;
Engineering Research Center of
Process Equipment and Re-manufacturing,
Ministry of Education,
Hangzhou 310014, China
e-mail: maojianfeng@zjut.edu.cn

Shiyi Bao

Institute of Process Equipment and
Control Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology,
Hangzhou 310032, China
e-mail: bsy@zjut.edu.cn

Zhiming Lu

Institute of Process Equipment and
Control Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology,
Hangzhou 310032, China
e-mail: lzm@zjut.edu.cn

Lijia Luo

Institute of Process Equipment and
Control Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology,
Hangzhou 310032, China
e-mail: lijialuo@zjut.edu.cn

Zengliang Gao

Institute of Process Equipment and
Control Engineering,
Zhejiang University of Technology,
Hangzhou 310032, China;
Engineering Research Center of
Process Equipment and Re-manufacturing,
Ministry of Education,
Hangzhou 310014, China
e-mail: zlgao@zjut.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received October 30, 2017; final manuscript received April 23, 2018; published online September 10, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Tomio Okawa.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 4(4), 041015 (Sep 10, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: NERS-17-1254; doi: 10.1115/1.4040494 History: Received October 30, 2017; Revised April 23, 2018

The so-called in-vessel retention (IVR) was considered as a severe accident management strategy and had been certified by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in U.S. as a standard measure for severe accident management since 1996. In the core meltdown accident, the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) integrity should be ensured during the prescribed time of 72 h. However, in traditional concept of IVR, several factors that affect the RPV failure were not considered in the structural safety assessment, including the effect of corium crust on the RPV failure. Actually, the crust strength is of significant importance in the context of a severe reactor accident in which molten core material melts through the reactor vessel and collects on the lower head (LH) of the RPV. Consequently, the RPV integrity is significantly influenced by the crust. A strong, coherent crust anchored to the RPV walls could allow the yet-molten corium to fall away from the crust as it erodes the RPV, therefore thermally decoupling the melt pool from the coolant and sharply reducing the cooling rate. Due to the thermal resistance of the crust layer, it somewhat prevents further attack of melt pool from the RPV. In the present study, the effect of crust on RPV structural behaviors was examined under multilayered crust formation conditions with consideration of detailed thermal characteristics, such as high-temperature gradient across the wall thickness. Thereafter, systematic finite element analyses and subsequent damage evaluation with varying parameters were performed on a representative RPV to figure out the possibility of high temperature induced failures with the effect of crust layer.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic description of the RPV with crust layer and its failure segments [6]

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Fig. 2

The FE-model and geometric configuration of RPV with crust layer

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Fig. 3

Temperature contour for the RPV with crust under core meltdown condition

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Fig. 4

Total displacement distribution at pre- and postcreep stages along the angular position

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Fig. 5

Mises stress contours for the region of interest under various internal pressures

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Fig. 6

Equivalent plastic strain contours for the region of interest under various internal pressures

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Fig. 7

Mises stress contours for the region of interest at creep time of 100 h under various internal pressures

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Fig. 8

Equivalent creep strain contour for the region of interest at creep time of 100 h under various internal pressures

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Fig. 9

Comparison of creep and plastic damage distributions across the path1 for RPV without and with crust layer

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Fig. 10

Comparison of creep and plastic damage distributions across the path2 for RPV without and with crust layer

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Fig. 11

Total damage contours for the region of interest at creep time of 100 h under various internal pressures

Tables

Errata

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