Influence of corium temperature, concrete composition and water injection time on concrete ablation during MCCI: New insights

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Authors:
  • Ilyas Khurshid
  • Imran Afgan
  • Yacine Addad
  • Amidu muritala alade

Abstract

Molten corium, a mixture of molten nuclear fuel, cladding, thermo-hydraulic and structural elements, can originate in a nuclear plant accident after a reactor core meltdown. This un-cooled corium could penetrate through the reactor pressure vessel and cause concrete ablation via basement melt-through, a process known as Molten Corium Concrete Interaction (MCCI). The MCCI analysis because of its complex nature is still uncertain and needs thorough investigation of various parameters. In this study the use of CORQUENCH simulator is presented to model the molten corium, composition of concrete and heat transfer along with related chemical reactions. Using this modeling technique, the chemical reaction capabilities of CORQUENCH is successfully utilized enabling the modeling of interaction between molten corium and concrete. The developed model is validated against experimental data at PWR and BWR conditions. The results showed that the temperature of corium, composition of concrete and water injection time have a pronounced effect on mitigating ablation and reactor integrity in case of a nuclear accident. In addition, the composition of concrete was found to be the main controlling factor to mitigate ablation. An alternative to concrete is to utilize igneous rock (pyrolite) and this approach could lead to comparatively very low rates of ablation due to its high thermal resistant properties. Furthermore, the injection of water (as a cooling agent) into the reactor cavity should also be optimized to enhance corium quenching to avoid ablation via basement melt-through. The concrete ablation mechanisms during MCCI are very case-dependent on the concrete solidus, liquidus and ablation temperatures, respectively.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number104102
JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
Volume144
Early online date28 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022