Behavior of the corium pool in the lower head is still a critical issue in understanding of PWR core meltdown accidents. One of the key parameter for assessing the vessel mechanical strength is the resulting heat flux at the pool-vessel interface. A number of studies [1]–[3] have already been performed to pursue the understanding of a severe accident with core melting, its course, major critical phases and timing and the influence of these processes on the accident progression. Uncertainties in modeling these phenomena and in the application to reactor scale will undoubtedly persist. These include e.g. formation and growth of the in-core melt pool, relocation of molten material after the failure of the surrounding crust, characteristics of corium arrival in residual water in the lower head, corium stratifications in the lower head after the debris re-melting [4]. These phenomena have a strong impact on a potential termination of a severe accident. The main objective of the LIVE program [5] at FZK is to study the core melt phenomena both experimentally in large-scale 3D geometry and in supporting separate-effects tests, and analytically using CFD codes in order to provide a reasonable estimate of the remaining uncertainty band under the aspect of safety assessment. Within the LIVE experimental program several tests have been performed with water and with non-eutectic melts (mixture of KNO3 and NaNO3) as simulant fluids. The results of these experiments, performed in nearly adiabatic and in isothermal conditions, allow a direct comparison with findings obtained earlier in other experimental programs (SIMECO, ACOPO, BALI, etc.) and will be used for the assessment of the correlations derived for the molten pool behavior. The information obtained from the LIVE experiments includes heat flux distribution through the reactor pressure vessel wall in transient and steady state conditions, crust growth velocity and dependence of the crust formation on the heat flux distribution through the vessel wall. Supporting post-test analysis contributes to characterization of solidification processes of binary non-eutectic melts. Complimentary to other international programs with real corium melts, the results of the LIVE activities provide data for a better understanding of in-core corium pool behavior. The experimental results are being used for development of mechanistic models to describe the in-core molten pool behavior and their implementation in the severe accident codes like ASTEC. The paper summarizes the objectives of the LIVE program and presents the main results obtained in the LIVE experiments up to now.

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