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research-article

Experimental investigation of melt coolability and ablation behaviour of oxidic sacrificial material at prototypic conditions in scaled down core catcher

[+] Author and Article Information
Samyak Munot

Homi Bhabha National Institute, Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai 400094, Maharashtra, India
samyakmunot@hotmail.com; samyakm@barc.gov.in

Ganesh Vythilingam

Reactor Engineering Division, Bhabha Atomic Research centre, Mumbai 400085, Maharashtra, India
ganeshv@barc.gov.in

Parimal Pramod Kulkarni

Reactor Engineering Division, Bhabha Atomic Research centre, Mumbai 400085, Maharashtra, India
parimalk@barc.gov.in

Arun Nayak

Reactor Engineering Division, Bhabha Atomic Research centre, Mumbai 400085, Maharashtra, India; Homi Bhabha National Institute, Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai 400094, Maharashtra, India
arunths@barc.gov.in

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043106 History: Received November 14, 2018; Revised February 26, 2019

Abstract

To minimize the potential risk of DEC-B severe accident, some advanced reactors are fitted with ex-vessel core catchers which stabilize and cool the corium for prolonged period by strategically flooding it. This manuscript describes the coolability of the melt pool and ablation process in a scaled down ex-vessel core catcher employing sacrificial material which reduces the specific volumetric heat, temperature and density of the melt pool. To understand these phenomena, an experimental analysis was carried out. The experiment was performed by melting about 500 kg of corium simulant using thermite reaction at about 2500 °C. The bricks of oxidic sacrificial material were arranged in the core catcher vessel which was surrounded by a tank filled with water up to a certain level. After the time required for melt inversion, water was introduced to flood the test section from the top. The melt pool temperatures were monitored at various locations using 'K' and 'C' type thermocouples to obtain ablation depth at different elevations with time. The results show that the coolability of the molten pool in presence of water for the present geometry is achievable with outside vessel temperatures not exceeding 100 °C. A ceramic stable crust was observed at the top surface of the melt pool. The ablation rate was found to be maximum at the lower corners of the bricks arrangement with the max value being 0.75 mm/s. An average rate of about 0.18 mm/s was obtained in the brick matrix.

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