Coolability of an ex-vessel debris bed in severe accident conditions is considered from the risk perspective. The concept of “load versus capacity” is employed to quantify the probability of failure (local dryout). Possible choices of “load” and “capacity” in terms of heat fluxes, thermal power or melt mass are discussed. Results of Monte Carlo simulations of distribution functions for the local heat flux and the dryout heat flux at the debris bed top point (defined as the extensions of one-dimensional counterparts) are presented. A surrogate model for the dryout heat flux is developed by the generalization of two-dimensional simulation results. Dryout probabilities are obtained under the conservative assumptions (neglecting the coolability improvement due to side ingress of water into a non-flat debris bed), and from the surrogate model. Outlook is given for the prospective development of the risk-informed approach to debris bed coolability in the context of comprehensive severe accident risk analysis.

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