In the transients produced during Small Break Loss-Of-Coolant Accidents (SBLOCA), the maximum Peak Cladding Temperature (PCT) in the core could suffer rapid excursions which might strongly affect the core integrity. Most Pressurized Water Reactors (PWR) have Core Exit Thermocouples (CETs) to detect core overheating by considering that superheated steam flows in the upward direction when core uncovery occurs during SBLOCAs. Operators may start Accident Management (AM) actions to mitigate such accident conditions when the CET temperature exceeds a certain value. However, in a Vessel Upper Head SBLOCA, a significant delay in time and temperature rise of CETs from core heat-up can be produced.

This work is developed in the frame of OECD/NEA ROSA Project Test 6-1 (SB-PV-9 in JAEA) handled in the Large Scale Test Facility (LSTF) of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Test 6-1 simulated a PWR pressure vessel Upper-Head SBLOCA with a break size equivalent to 1.9% of the cold leg break under the assumption of total failure of High Pressure Injection System (HPIS).

The paper shows several analyses about the geometry variables (size, location, flow paths and Upper Head nodalization) which can influence on the pressure vessel Upper Head SBLOCA model performed using the thermal-hydraulic code TRACE5.

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