Abstract

The effects of postulated accidents, including dynamic effects of pipe ruptures, must be analyzed for licensing of nuclear power plants (NPPs). Applicants and licensees of NPPs have struggled to address U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expectations to assess if high energy line break (HELB) jet impingement on structures and components can lead to dynamic amplification, and to accurately simulate blast wave-induced loadings. In this paper, evaluation of the potential for load amplification and occurrence of resonance conclusively demonstrates that the phenomenon does not occur. In a HELB, several physical parameters of jets issuing from a ruptured pipe - such as non-equilibrium condensation of steam, unsteady separation between the jet exit and target, non-orthogonal alignment of jet axis to impingement surface, uneven impingement surfaces, or mismatch of jet excitation frequency and target natural frequency - prevent occurrence of the phase lock conditions needed to initiate and maintain a resonance. The analytical approach to evaluate the blast wave-induced loading applied a pressure vessel burst (PVB) correlation instead of performing time consuming CFD analysis for all break locations. Three dimensional CFD analysis of blast wave transient propagation provided the basis to develop benchmarking factors for use with the PVB correlation. The simplified methodology utilizes shockwave reflection, shape, and environment factors for application to impacted targets, which significantly reduces the amount of time to evaluate all break locations. The modified PVB method is also more appropriate than an explosion-type correlation to model the blast wave pressures from steam pipe breaks.

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