Transient containment response and inherent retention capability

E. L. Gluekler, A. Dayan, F. Hayes, C. T. Kline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For safety assessments of early sodium cooled fast breeder reactors, hypothetical events such as loss of flow or transient overpower sequences combined with the failure of the reactor protective systems have been evaluated. The intent of these evaluations was to demonstrate that even extremely unlikely combinations of failures which could lead to meltdown of a portion of the reactor core would not propagate into events harmful to the public. This paper investigates the consequences of a meltdown event. In general, reactor vessels and the primary sodium systems have an adequate inherent retention capability to retain dispersed or molten core debris and remove decay heat. For certain vessel designs, large core debris masses may penetrate through the vessel wall and drain into the reactor cell. Although significant uncertainties exist in the evaluations of debris retention and heat removal capabilities of the containment, there is indication that criteria for radiological limits can well be met. If the accident progression can be controlled in-vessel, consequences would be minimized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-167
Number of pages17
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1977
Externally publishedYes

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