A passive endothermic reaction cooling system (PERCS) is proposed to provide reactor core cooling during a station blackout (SBO). During a SBO, a PWR in which PERCS has been installed has a peak reactor core outlet temperature remains below 640 K (692.3°F) for 30 days, which is well below the nominal accident core outlet temperature during a SBO. During a LOCA, LOFA, and LOHSA, installation of a PERCS has no significant impact on safety performance. It should be noted that the PERCS will represent a minimal heat source (unless the PERCS is very large) during DBAs as emergency systems lower the coolant temperature below the PERCS temperature.
A typical PWR with an installed PERCS is modeled using RELAP5-3D. The results of the model demonstrate the high level of passive safety afforded by the PERCS which contributes to the mitigation of SBO consequences without adversely affecting nuclear plant safety during a LOCA, LOHSA, or LOFA. Future work in validating the PERCS as a method of passive safety for existing light water reactors is underway, including the refining the physical design, determining better kinetic and thermodynamic properties for MgCO3, updating the PERCS model, and using a more robust PWR plant model.