A Numerical study on local fuel-coolant interactions in a simulated molten fuel pool using the SIMMER-III code
Cheng, S.; Matsuba, Kenichi ; Isozaki, Mikio; Kamiyama, Kenji ; Suzuki, Toru; Tobita, Yoshiharu
Studies on local fuel-coolant interactions (FCI) in a molten pool are crucial to the analyses of severe accidents that could occur for sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs). To clarify the characteristics of this interaction, in recent years a series of simulated experiments, which covers a variety of conditions including much difference in water volume, melt temperature, water subcooling and water release site (pool surface or bottom), was conducted at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency by delivering a given quantity of water into a molten pool formed with a low-melting-point alloy. In this study, motivated by acquiring further evidence for understanding its mechanisms, interaction characteristics including the pressure-buildup as well as mechanical energy release and its conversion efficiency, are investigated using the SIMMER-III, an advanced fast reactor safety analysis code. It is confirmed that, similar to experiments, the water volume, melt temperature and water release site are observable to have remarkable impact on the interaction, while the role of water subcooling seems to be less prominent. The performed analyses also suggest that the most probable reason leading to the limited pressurization and resultant mechanical energy release for a given melt and water temperature within the non-film boiling range, even under a condition of much larger volume of water entrapped within the pool, should be primarily due to an isolation effect of vapor bubbles generated at the water-melt interface.