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A Two-Phase Model to Describe the Dissolution of ZrO2 by Molten Zr.


Congress title :EUROTHERM81
Congress town :Albi
Congress date :04/06/2007

Summary

In case of a hypothetical severe accident in a nuclear Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR), the fuel elements in the core may reach very high temperatures (more than 2000K). UO2 (Uranium dioxide) pellets are enclosed by a cladding mainly composed of Zircaloy (Zr). If the temperature became higher than 2100K (melting temperature of Zr), the UO2 pellets would be in contact with molten Zr, resulting in the dissolution and liquefaction of UO2 at a lower temperature than its melting points (3100K). Several experimental and numerical investigations have led to a better understanding of this phenomenon but a comprehensive and consistent modeling is still missing. The goal of this paper is to propose a two-phase macroscopic model describing the dissolution of a solid alloy by a liquid. The model is limited to binary alloys and it is applied to the particular case of the dissolution of ZrO2 by liquid Zr, for which experimental data are available (Hofmann et al., 1999). The model was established by using a volume averaging method. Numerical simulations are compared to experimental results and show a good agreement.

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