Recently, the safety analyses of VVER and PWR reactors have dealt with the possibility of reactivity-induced accidents related to the penetration of a water slug with low boron concentration into the reactor core. Loop seals at the reactor coolant pump (RCP) suction are the most likely places for the formation of these slugs. The slug is formed in the loop when there is neither natural nor forced circulation. When the circulation is restored, the slug travels towards the reactor and causes an insertion of positive reactivity in the core. This report deals with a CFD simulation of the most dangerous event—the start-up of the first RCP. Only several seconds are needed for slug to reach the core and the operator has no time for corrective action. Mixing of slug on its way to the core can reduce the danger of core recriticality. The primary objective of this study was to find out whether the FLUENT 6 CFD code is capable of predicting the mixing in the cold leg, downcomer and lower plenum as the slug moves toward the reactor core. Numerical simulations were based on mixing tests performed on 1:5 scale model of VVER-1000 reactor at the Gidropress Design Bureau, Russia. In the physical mixing tests, temperature was substituted for Boron concentration through the use of hot and cold water. The time history of core inlet average temperature was calculated by FLUENT and was found to be in good qualitative agreement with experimental data. This work was carried out as part of the EU project FLOMIX-R, Work Package 4.

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