Newly designed plants, e.g., next-generation light water reactor or ESBWR, employ a passive containment cooling system and have an enhanced safety with RHRs (Residual Heat Removal system) including active components. Passive containment cooling systems have the advantage of a simple mechanism, while materials used for the systems are too large to employ these systems to existing plants. Combination of passive system and active system is considered to decrease amount of material for existing plants. In this study, alternatives of applying containment outer pool as a passive system have been developed for existing BWRs, and effects of outer pool on BDBA (Beyond Design Basis Accident) have been evaluated.
For the evaluation of containment outer pool, it is assumed that there would be no on-site power at the loss of off-site power event, so called “SBO (Station BlackOut)”. Then, the core of this plant would be uncovered, heated up, and damaged. Finally, the reactor pressure vessel would be breached. Containment gas temperature reached the containment failure temperature criteria without water injection. With water injection, containment pressure reached the failure pressure criteria. With this situation, using outer pool is one of the candidates to mitigate the accident. Several case studies for the outer pool have been carried out considering several parts of containment surface area, which are PCV (Pressure Containment vessel) head, W/W (Wet Well), and PCV shell.
As a result of these studies, the characteristics of each containment outer pool strategies have become clear. Cooling PCV head can protect it from over-temperature, although its effect is limited and W/W venting can not be delayed. Cooling suppression pool has an effect of pressure suppressing effect when RPV is intact. Cooling PCV shell has both effect of decreasing gas temperature and suppressing pressure.