To get an improved understanding and knowledge of the melt pool convection and the vessel creep and possible failure processes and modes occurring during the late phase of a core melt down accident the FOREVER-experiments are currently underway at the Division of Nuclear Power Safety of the Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm. These experiments are simulating the behaviour of the lower head of the RPV under the thermal loads of a convecting melt pool with decay heating, and under the pressure loads that the vessel experiences in a depressurization scenario. Due to the multi axial creep deformation of the vessel with a non-uniform temperature field these experiments are on the one hand an excellent source of data to validate numerical creep models which are developed on the basis of uniaxial creep tests. On the other hand the results of pre-test calculations can be used to optimize the experimental procedure and by supporting decision making during the experiment. For that, a Finite Element model is developed based on a multi-purpose code. After post-test calculations for the FOREVER-C2 experiment, pre-test calculations for the forthcoming experiments are performed. Additionally metallographic post test investigations of the experiments are conducted to improve the numerical damage model and to adjust the correlation between the metallographic observations and the calculated damage. Taking into account both — experimental and numerical results — gives a good opportunity to improve the simulation and understanding of real accident scenarios. After analysing the calculations, it seems to be advantageous to introduce a vessel support which can unburden the vessel from a part of the mechanical load and, therefore, avoid the vessel failure or at least prolong the time to failure. This can be a possible accident mitigation strategy. Additionally, it is possible to install an absolutely passive automatic control device to initiate the flooding of the reactor pit to ensure external vessel cooling in the event of a core melt down.

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