The accumulator in a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) is generally pressurized with inert nitrogen cover gas, and the accumulator water will be saturated with nitrogen. Nitrogen released due to system depressurization during a Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) transient, consists of the nitrogen that is in the gas phase as well as nitrogen coming out of the liquid from a dissolved state. The effect of nitrogen release from the accumulator on the accident sequence is generally not explicitly addressed in typical LOCA analyses. This paper presents an analytical nitrogen release model and its incorporation into the RELAP5/MOD3 computer code. The model predicts the amount of nitrogen release as a function of concentration difference between the actual and equilibrium conditions, and can track its subsequent transport through the downstream reactor coolant system in a LOCA transient. The model is compared to data from discharge tests with a refrigerant type fluid, pressurized with nitrogen. The results demonstrate that the model is able to calculate the release of the dissolved nitrogen as designed. The modified computer code has been applied to analyze the discharge from a typical PWR accumulator. The results are compared to those obtained without the nitrogen release model. The effect of nitrogen release on major system parameters, including accumulator level, accumulator flow rate, and accumulator pressure, is discussed.

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