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Report No.
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The CMMR program; BWR core degradation in the CMMR-4 test

Yamashita, Takuya; Sato, Ikken

For decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident (1F), understanding the final distribution of core materials and their characteristics is important. These characteristics obviously depend on the accident progression in each of the units. However, a large uncertainty is present in BWR accident progression behavior. This uncertainty, which was clarified by the MAAP-MELCOR Crosswalk, cannot be resolved with existing experimental data and knowledge. Once coolant is lost from the BWR core for some time, the following scenario can be divided symbolically into TMI-2 Like Path and Continuous Drainage Path. Main uncertainties for this branching point are summarized as two questions: How is gas permeability of high-temperature degraded core approaching fuel melting ? (Q1). How is downward relocation of hot core materials before fuel melting and its effect on structure heating? (Q2). To address these questions, the core-material melting and relocation experiments were conducted. In the CMMR-4 test, useful information on core state just before slumping was obtained. Presence of macroscopic gas permeability of the core approaching ceramic fuel melting was confirmed (A1) and the fuel columns stayed standing suggesting that collapse of fuel columns, which is likely in the reactor condition, would not allow effective relocation of the hottest fuel away to the bottom of the core thereby limiting the core maximum temperature and significantly heating the support structures (A2).

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