With the purpose of modeling and calculating the core behavior during severe accidents in nuclear power plants system codes are under development worldwide. Modeling of radionuclide release and transport in the case of beyond design basis accidents is an integrated feature of the deterministic safety analysis of nuclear power plants. Following a hypothetical, uncontrolled temperature escalation in the core of light water reactors, significant parts of the core structures may degrade and melt down under formation of molten pools, leading to an accumulation of large amounts of radioactive materials. The possible release of radionuclides from the molten pool provides a potential contribution to the aerosol source term in the late phase of core degradation accidents. The relevance of the amount of transferred oxygen from the gas atmosphere into the molten pool on the specification of a radionuclide and its release depends strongly on the initial oxygen inventory. Particularly for a low oxygen potential in the melt as it is the case for stratification when a metallic phase forms the upper layer and, respectively, when the oxidation has proceeded so far so that zirconium was completely oxidized, a significant influence of atmospheric oxygen on the specification and the release of some radionuclides has to be anticipated. The code RELOS (Release of Low Volatile Fission Products from Molten Surfaces) is under development at the Department of Energy Systems and Energy Economics (formerly Department of Nuclear and New Energy Systems) of the Ruhr-University Bochum. It is based on a mechanistic model to describe the diffusive and convective transport of fission products from the surface of a molten pool into a cooler gas atmosphere. This paper presents the code RELOS, i. e. the features and abilities of the latest code version V2.3 and the new model improvements of V2.4 and the calculated results evaluating the implemented models which deal with the oxygen transfer from the liquid side of the phase boundary to the bulk of the melt by diffusion or by taking into account natural convection. Both models help to estimate the amount of oxygen entering into the liquid upper pool volume and being available for the oxidation reaction. For both models the metallic, the oxidic and a mixture phase can be taken into account when defining the composition of the upper pool volume. The influence of crust formation, i. e. the decrease of the liquid pool surface area is taken care of because it yields the relevant amount of fission products released into the atmosphere. The difference of the partial density between the gas side of the phase boundary and the bulk of the gas phase is the driving force of mass transport.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Investigation of the Fission Product Release From Molten Pools Under Oxidizing Conditions With the Code RELOS
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Kleinhietpaß, ID, Unger, H, Wagner, H, & Koch, MK. "Investigation of the Fission Product Release From Molten Pools Under Oxidizing Conditions With the Code RELOS." Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 5: Safety and Security; Low Level Waste Management, Decontamination and Decommissioning; Nuclear Industry Forum. Miami, Florida, USA. July 17–20, 2006. pp. 223-232. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE14-89456
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