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Inherent boron dilution safety issue in the French pressurized water reactor: CFD approach

E. Graffard, F. Goux,
14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 14), Miami, Florida, USA, July 17-20, 2006,
Rapport DSR 133

Summary

Inherent boron dilution can occur in case of a Small Break LOCA when low borated water is mainly accumulated in the U-legs due to reflux boiling in the Steam Generator tubes after the loss of natural circulation. The restart of the natural circulation may lead to criticality because of the injection of these low borated slugs towards the core. To evaluate this potential risk, the boron concentration at the core inlet has to be known which makes necessary to estimate the mixing phenomena in the cold leg, in the downcomer and in the lower plenum: CFD calculations are required.
First of all the validation of CFX5 CFD code on the relevant phenomena of inherent boron dilution has been established (UPTF TRAM C3 test). Then, an application to the 900 MW French Pressurized Water Reactor series has been performed.

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