Vessel penetrations are important features of both pressurized water reactors and boiling water reactors. The thermal and structural behaviour of instrumentation guide tubes (IGTs) and control rod guide tubes (CRGTs) during a severe accident is vital in the assessment of the structure integrity of the reactor pressure vessel. Penetrations may fail due to welding failure, nozzle rupture, melt-through, etc. It is thus important to assess the failure mechanisms of penetrations with sufficient details. The objective of this paper is to assess the timing and failure modes of IGTs at the lower head during a severe accident in a Nordic boiling water reactor. In this study, a three-dimensional local finite element model was established using Ansys Mechanical that includes the vessel wall, the nozzle, and the weld joint. The thermo-mechanical loads of the finite element model were based on MELCOR results of a station blackout accident (SBO) combined with a large-break loss-of-coolant accident (LBLOCA) including an external vessel cooling by water as a severe accident management strategy. Given the temperature, creep strain, elastic strain, plastic strain, stress and displacement from the ANSYS simulations, the results showed the timing and failure modes of IGTs. Failure of the IGT penetration by nozzle creep is found to be the dominant failure mode of the vessel. However, it was also found that the IGT is clamped by the flow limiter before the nozzle creep, which means that IGT ejection is unlikely.

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