For an optimum recovery from a steam generator tube rupture (SGTR) event, the operators are directed to isolate the steam generator (SG) with ruptured tube as early as possible to minimize the radioactive material release. However, the reactor coolant system (RCS) cooldown and depressurization to the shutdown cooling system (SCS) operation conditions using the intact SG only are hard to achieve unless the ruptured SG is properly cooled since the ruptured SG, which is isolated by operator, remains at high temperature even though the RCS has been cooled down. The effects of intentional back flow from the SG secondary side to the RCS through the ruptured U-tube on the the ruptured SG cooldown were evaluated for the pressurized light water reactor, especially for the Korean standard nuclear power plant (KSNP). In order to evaluate the back flow effect, a series of analyses was conducted using the RELAP5/MOD3 computer code. For the first stage of the analysis, the cooldown process by natural circulation in the SG secondary side was simulated for the initial conditions of the ruptured SG cooldown. In the next analysis stage, two methods of the ruptured SG cooldown by using back flow after RCS cooldown were evaluated. The one is a tube uncovery, which utilizes the steam condensation on the uncovered U-tube surface, and the other is a SG drain and fill. In the former method, SG tubes are exposed to the steam space by draining SG secondary water into the RCS in order to condense the steam directly onto the uncovered tubes. This method showed that the steam condensation decreased SG secondary pressure and temperature rapidly, demonstrating its effectiveness for cooling. However, this process has a limited applicability in cases of that the rupture is located at the lower region. The latter method, draining by back flow and filling using the feedwater system was also found to be effective in ruptured SG cooldown and depressurization even if the rupture occurred at the top of the U-tube. However, the actuation of the feedwater system is a burden to operator since the makeup of cold feedwater was required to complete cooldown by one cycle of the draining and filling. It is concluded that utilization of the intentional back flow from the SG secondary side to the RCS is very effective for rapid cooling of the RCS to the SCS entry conditions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.