Two essential thermal hydraulics safety criteria concerning the reactor core are that even during operational transients there is no fuel melting and impermissible cladding temperatures are avoided. A common concept for boiling water reactors is to establish a minimum critical power ratio (MCPR) for steady state operation. For this MCPR it is shown that only a very small number of fuel rods suffers a short-term dryout during the transient. It is known from experience that the limiting transient for the determination of the MCPR is the turbine trip with blocked bypass system. This fast transient was simulated for a German BWR by use of the three-dimensional reactor analysis transient code SIMULATE-3K. The transient behaviour of the hot channels was used as input for the dryout calculation with the transient thermal hydraulics code FRANCESCA. By this way the maximum reduction of the CPR during the transient could be calculated. The fast increase in reactor power due to the pressure increase and to an increased core inlet flow is limited mainly by the Doppler effect, but automatically triggered operational measures also can contribute to the mitigation of the turbine trip. One very important method is the short-term fast reduction of the recirculation pump speed which is initiated e. g. by a pressure increase in front of the turbine. The large impacts of the starting time and of the rate of the pump speed reduction on the power progression and hence on the deterioration of CPR is presented. Another important procedure to limit the effects of the transient is the fast shutdown of the reactor that is caused when the reactor power reaches the limit value. It is shown that the SCRAM is not fast enough to reduce the first power maximum, but is able to prevent the appearance of a second — much smaller — maximum that would occur around one second after the first one in the absence of a SCRAM.

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