The Westinghouse Owners Group Core Damage Assessment Guidance (CDAG), which has been authorized by the NRC staffs, is now used by licensee emergency response organization staff for estimating the extent of core damage that may have occurred during an accident at a Westinghouse nuclear power plant. On the other hand, EPR is a 3rd generation nuclear power plant, which applies the advanced European nuclear power technology.
This paper introduced Core Damage Assessment Guidance methodology in detail. The CDAG methodology is then attempted to apply to the EPR nuclear power plant. Detailed calculations have been performed for the setpoints of containment radiation monitors (CRM) and core exit thermocouples (CETs) with EPR design characteristics, which are the two main methods for estimation core damage amount. This paper also focuses the discussion on the reasons of difference of core damage estimating results between CRM method and CETs method; based on the discussion, several advices are provided when the two methods show a reasonable discrepancy in conclusions.
Several conclusions can be made from the discussions in this article that 1)the Westinghouse Owners Group CDAG methodology proved to be reasonable when applied to EPR power plant for core damage assessment under severe accident; 2) the CDAG methodology which reflect the latest understanding of fission product behavior, is very simple and timely for core damage assessment based on NPP (nuclear power plant) real-time parameters; 3) conservative calculation results of setpoints on CRM and CETs based on EPR design show a reasonable trend and range; 4) it is concluded that several factors such as the releasing way, RCS fission product retention, fuel burnups might have great impact on the estimating results, when the results from two main indications (CRM and CETs) show an unexpected response.