Integrity evaluation methods for nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs) under Pressurised Thermal Shock (PTS) loading are applied by French Utility. They are based on the analysis of the behaviour of relatively shallow cracks under loading PTS conditions due to the emergency cooling during SBLOCA transients. This paper presents the Research and Development program started at E.D.F on the CFD determination of the cooling phenomena of a PWR vessel during a Pressurised Thermal Shock. The numerical results are obtained with the thermalhydraulic tools N3S and Code_Saturne, in combination with the thermal-solid code SYRTHES to take into account the coupled effect of heat transfer between the fluid flow and the vessel. We first explain the recent improvement of the thermalhydraulic analysis with the global definition of the SBLOCA transient and the local analysis in the downcomer. Then, the qualification task of the EDF numerical tools is described. In order to reach this purpose, we have investigated several configurations related to an injection of cold water and focused our analysis particularly in the cold leg but also in a the downcomer. Two experiment test cases have been studied. A comparison between experiment and numerical results in terms of temperature field is presented. On the whole, the main purpose of the numerical thermalhydraulic studies is to accurately estimate the distribution of fluid temperature in the downcomer and the heat transfer coefficients on the inner RPV surface for a fracture mechanics computation which will subsequently assess the associated RPV safety margins.

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