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Characteristics of pressure buildup from local fuel-coolant interactions in a simulated molten fuel pool

Cheng, S.; Matsuba, Kenichi; Isozaki, Mikio; Kamiyama, Kenji; Suzuki, Toru; Tobita, Yoshiharu

Studies on local fuel-coolant interactions (FCI) in a molten pool are important for severe accident analyses of sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs). To clarify the mechanisms underlying this interaction, in this study a series of experiments was conducted by delivering a given quantity of water into a simulated molten fuel pool (formed with a low-melting-point alloy). Based on the experimental data obtained from a variety of conditions, including difference in water volume, melt temperature and water subcooling, the characteristics of pressure-buildup during local FCIs was investigated. It is found that under our experimental conditions the water volume and melt temperature have remarkable impact on the interaction, while the role of water subcooling seems to be less prominent. The performed analyses also suggest that the pressurization from local FCIs should be intrinsically limited, due to a suppressing role caused by the increasing of coolant volume entrapped within the pool as well as the transition of boiling mode. Current work, which gives a palette of favorable data for a better understanding and an improved estimation of severe accidents in SFRs, is expected to benefit future analyses and verifications of computer models developed in advanced fast reactor safety analysis codes.

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