Abstract

Authors are developing an experimental technology to realize experiments simulating Severe Accident (SA) conditions using simulant fuel material (ZrO2 ) that would contribute not only to Fukushima Daiichi (1F) decommissioning but also to enhance the safety of worldwide existing and future nuclear power plants through clarification of the accident progression behavior. Based on the results of the prototype test, improvement of plasma heating technology was conducted. The Core Material Melting and Relocation (CMMR)-1/-2 experiments were carried out in 2017 with the large-scale simulated fuel assembly (1 m x 0.3 mf) applying the improved technology (higher heating power and controlled oxygen concentration). In these two tests, heating history was different resulting basically in similar physical responses with more pronounced material melting and relocation in the CMMR-2 experiment. The CMMR-2 experiment adopted 30-min heating period, the power was increased up to a level so that a large temperature gradient (< 2,000 K/m) expected at the lower part of the core in the actual 1F accident conditions. Most of the control blade and the channel box migrated from the original position. After the heating, the simulated fuel assembly was measured by the X-ray Computed Tomography (CT) technology and by Electron Probe Micro Analyzer (EPMA). CT pictures and elemental mapping demonstrated its excellent performance with rather good precision. Based on these results, an excellent perspective in terms of applicability of the non-transfer type plasma heating technology to the SA experimental study was obtained.

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