The motivation of the work performed within the work package “Corium and Debris Coolability” of the Severe Accident Research Network of Excellence (SARNET) is to reduce or possibly solve the remaining uncertainties on the efficiency of cooling reactor core structures and materials during severe accidents, either in the core, in the vessel lower head or in the reactor cavity, so as to limit the progression of the accident. This can be achieved either by ensuring corium retention within the reactor pressure vessel or at least by limiting the corium progression and the rate of corium release into the cavity. These issues are to be covered within the scope of accident management for existing reactors and within the scope of design and safety evaluation of future reactors. The specific objectives are to create and enhance the database on debris formation, debris coolability and corium behavior in the lower head, to develop and validate the models and computer codes for simulation of in-vessel debris bed and melt pool behavior, to perform reactor scale analysis for in-vessel corium coolability and to assess the influence of severe accident management measures on in-vessel coolability. The work being performed within this work package comprises experimental and modeling activities with strong cross coupling between the tasks. Substantial knowledge and understanding of governing phenomena concerning coolability of intact rod-like reactor core geometry was obtained in previous projects. Hence the main thrust of experimental and modeling efforts concentrates mainly on the study of formation and cooling of debris beds in order to demonstrate effective cooling modes, cooling rates and coolability limits. Modeling efforts have been aimed at assessing and validating the models in system-level and detailed codes for core degradation, oxidation and debris behavior. The paper describes the work performed up to now and summarizes the main results achieved so far.

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