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Experimental study of interactions between suboxidized corium and reactor vessel steel

ICAPP Sixth International Conference on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants / Reno (USA), 04/06/2006

Summary

One of the critical factors in the analysis of in-vessel melt retention is the vessel strength. It is, in particular, sensitive to the thickness of intact vessel wall, which, in its turn, depends on the thermal conditions and physicochemical interactions with corium. Physicochemical interaction of prototypic UO2-ZrO2-Zr corium melt and VVER vessel steel was examined during the 2nd Phase of the ISTC METCOR Project. Rasplav-3 test facility was used for conducting four tests, in which the Zr oxidation degree and interaction front temperature were varied; in one of the tests, stainless steel was added to the melt. Direct experimental measurements and posttest analyses were used for determining corrosion kinetics and maximum corrosion depth (i.e. the physicochemical impact of corium on the cooled vessel steel specimens), as well as the steel temperature conditions during the interaction, and finally the structure and composition of crystallized ingots, including the interaction zone. The minimum temperature on the interaction front boundary, which determined its final position and maximum corrosion depth was ∼ 1090°C. An empirical correlation for calculation of corrosion kinetics has been derived.


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