Steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) incidents, such as those, which occurred in various operating pressurized, water reactors in the past, are serious operational concerns and remain among the most risk-dominant events. Although considerable efforts have been spent to understand tube degradation processes, develop improved modes of operation, and take preventative and corrective measures, SGTR incidents cannot be completely ruled out. Under certain conditions, high releases of radionuclides to the environment are possible during design basis accidents (DBA) and severe accidents. The severe accident codes’ models for aerosol retention in the secondary side of a steam generator (SG) have not been assessed against any experimental data, which means that the uncertainties in the source term following an unisolated SGTR concurrent with a severe accident are not currently quantified. The accident management (AM) procedures aim at avoiding or minimizing the release of fission products from the SG. The enhanced retention of activity within the SG defines the effectiveness of the accident management actions for the specific hardware characteristics and accident conditions of concern. A sound database on aerosol retention due to natural processes in the SG is not available, nor is an assessment of the effect of management actions on these processes. Hence, the effectiveness of the AM in SGTR events is not presently known. To help reduce uncertainties relating to SGTR issues, an experimental project, ARTIST (AeRosol Trapping In a Steam generaTor), has been initiated at the Paul Scherrer Institut to address aerosol and droplet retention in the various parts of the SG. The test section is comprised of a scaled-down tube bundle, a full-size separator and a full-size dryer unit. The project will study phenomena at the separate effect and integral levels and address AM issues in seven distinct phases: Aerosol retention in 1) the broken tube under dry secondary side conditions, 2) the near field close to break under dry conditions, 3) the bundle far-field under dry conditions, 4) the separator and dryer under dry conditions, 5) the bundle section under wet conditions, 6) droplet retention in the separator and dryer sections and 7) the overall SG (integral tests). Prototypical test parameters are selected to cover the range of conditions expected in severe accident as well as DBA scenarios. This paper summarizes the relevant issues and introduces the ARTIST facility and the provisional test program which will run between 2003 and 2007.

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