On 10–11th of April, 2003, a serious incident occurred in a special fuel assembly cleaning tank, which was installed into the service shaft of the 2nd unit of the Paks NPP in Hungary. During this incident, most of the 30 fuel assemblies put into the cleaning tank have seriously damaged. In the Institute of Nuclear Techniques of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics several CFD investigations were performed concerning the course of the incident, the post incidental conditions and the recovery work. The main reason of the incident can be originated from the defective design of the cleaning tank which resulted in the insufficient cooling of the system in a special operational mode. Our investigation performed with a complex 3D CFX model clearly showed how could as strong temperature stratification develop inside the cleaning tank that it was able to block the coolant flow through the fuel assemblies. After the blocking of the flow, the coolant turned into boiling and the assemblies became uncovered. The temperature of the surfaces of the fuel assemblies went above 1000 °C. With the aid of the radiative heat transfer model of the CFX-5.6 code, the surface temperatures were analyzed. When the cleaning instrument got opened the fuel assemblies suffered a serious thermal shock and the assemblies highly damaged. The post-incident thermo-hydraulic state inside the cleaning vessel was investigated with a rather complex CFX model. The uncertainties were decreased by a wide parameter study. The recovery work is planned to be started in the close future. The operators of the damaged fuel removing equipments will work standing on a platform which will be placed into the service shaft just above the surface of the coolant of decreased level. Protecting the workers against unnecessary personal doses is a very important task. In this situation, while the coolant is important part of the biological shielding, it is also a source of radiation due to the considerable amount of radioactive contamination dispersed into it. Therefore, the 3D distribution of the contamination in the service shaft was estimated for different operational and incidental scenarios with a wide parameter study made by a 3D CFX model. This comprehensive work performed with several models and calculations is tersely outlined according to the limited extent of the paper.

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