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Features of a control blade degradation observed ${it in situ}$ during severe accidents in boiling water reactors

Pshenichnikov, A.; Yamazaki, Saishun; Bottomley, D.; Nagae, Yuji; Kurata, Masaki

In the present paper new results using ${it in situ}$ video, are presented regarding BWR control blade degradation up to 1750 K at the beginning of a nuclear severe accident. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS) mapping indicated stratification of the absorber blade melt with formation of a chromium and boride-enriched layer. High content-B- and C-containing material with increased melting temperature acted like a shielding and was found to prevent further relocation of control blade claddings. The interacted layers around the B$$_{4}$$C granules prevented direct steam attack of residual B$$_{4}$$C. The results provide new insights for understanding of the absorber blade degradation mechanism under reducing conditions specific to Fukushima Dai-Ichi Unit 2 resulting from prolonged steam starvation.

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