Life span assessment is a very important issue for the nuclear community. A serious threat to the life span of a Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) is an occurrence of the Pressurized Thermal Shock (PTS) during an Emergency Core Coolant (ECC) injection in a loss-of-coolant accident. Traditional system codes fail to predict the complex three-dimensional flow phenomena resulting from such an ECC injection. Improved results have been obtained using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis based on the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. However, it has been shown also that current transient RANS approaches are less capable to predict complex flow features in the downcomer of the RPV. More advanced CFD methods like Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) are required for modeling of these complex flow phenomena in the downcomer. The current paper addresses the feasibility of the application of LES for single-phase PTS. Furthermore, the required grid resolution for such LES analyses is identified by evaluation of solutions on different meshes. A buoyancy-driven PTS experiment has been considered. This experiment has been performed in the 1:5 linear scale Rossendorf Coolant Mixing Model (ROCOM) facility. In the applied numerical model, the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations are solved in the LES formulation, with an additional transport equation for a scalar, which is responsible for driving the embedded buoyancy term in the momentum equations. Instantaneous mixing characteristics are investigated based on evaluation of the scalar concentration. The analysis presented in this paper indicates that the application of LES is feasible nowadays. It is demonstrated that the mixing in the downcomer is quite sensitive to small turbulent disturbances at the ECC inlet, i.e., two simulations performed with slightly different fluctuations at inlet result in substantially different flow in the downcomer. This complicates the analysis of the data from simulations and suggests that validation against experimental data should not be performed using single physical experiment.

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