The development of a corium pool in the lower head and its behavior is still a critical issue and is of great importance to assess the severe accident progression consequences to ensure the nuclear plant safety. Therefore, experimental efforts are a vital element of the assessment process, providing hard data and insights of the complicated multi-component, highly turbulent corium pool dynamics. It is essential to consider the whole evolution of the accident, including e.g. formation and growth of the in-core melt pool, characteristics of corium arrival in the lower head, and molten pool behavior after the debris re-melting. These phenomena have a strong impact on a potential termination of a severe accident. The general objective of the LIVE program at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is to study these phenomena experimentally in large-scale 3D geometry and in supporting separate-effects tests, with emphasis on the transient behavior. The LIVE-L4 experiment was performed using a non-eutectic melt (KNO3-NaNO3) as a simulant fluid. Besides the transient behavior, for which the LIVE-L4 test provides qualified data on temperature evolution in the molten pool and crust growth rates, the experiment addresses other important phenomena, such as the local distribution of heat flux, and the influence of solidification on the thermal-hydraulics of the pool, i.e. the possible existence of a mushy region and its impact on the heat transfer. In the post-test analysis crust thickness profile along the vessel wall, the crust composition and the morphology were determined. The results of this experiment also allow a comparison with findings obtained earlier in other experimental programs. The LIVE-L4 experimental results are being used for the assessment of correlations and development and validation of mechanistic models for the description of molten pool behavior. These calculations are complemented by analyses with the CFD code CONV (thermal hydraulics of heterogeneous, viscous and heat-generating melts) which was developed at IBRAE. The CONV code was applied to simulate the LIVE-L4 test: a) assuming homogeneous heat generation in the liquid and b) accounting for wire heaters used to simulate the heat generation in the melt. Though the results of calculations demonstrate satisfactory agreement with the experimental measurements, deficiencies in the code prediction have been identified regarding e.g. the prediction of the crust thickness. The paper summarizes the objectives of the LIVE program, the main results obtained in the LIVE-L4 experiment and the results of the post-test calculations performed with the CONV code.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Results of the LIVE-L4 Experiment on Melt Behavior in the RPV Lower Head
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Miassoedov, A, Cron, T, Foit, J, Gaus-Liu, X, Palagin, A, Schmidt-Stiefel, S, & Wenz, T. "Results of the LIVE-L4 Experiment on Melt Behavior in the RPV Lower Head." Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Volume 3. Xi’an, China. May 17–21, 2010. pp. 475-482. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE18-29601
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