IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Experimental facilities

PEARL facility

​Last update on October 2015

​Analytical experimental programme concerning debris bed reflooding

The PEARL facility is dedicated to debris bed reflooding tests.

The Facility


It includes a water tank which can be heated, two water injection lines, a quartz test section (height: 2.66 m, diameter: 540 mm) inside which is placed the instrumented debris bed, a steam evacuation line and a pressure control valve.

The debris bed consists of metal beads (overall weight of around 500 kg) heated by induction. The facility also comprises a steam generator which generates a vapour atmosphere inside the debris bed prior to the fl ooding phase (water injection).

The test section is placed in a 20-m3 enclosure inside which the pressure can be increased up to 10 bar. It is fitted with the instrumentation required for measuring the temperature and pressure drops occurring within the debris bed, the flowrate of injected water, the flowrate of the generated steam and the pressure of the system.

Study parameters

The PEARL facility is used for studying the effects of:

  • Installation-Pearl-2.jpgThe injection water flowrate (2 to 50 m/h).
  • The pressure of the system (1 to 10 bar).
  • The initial temperature of the debris bed (400 to 900°C).

  • The sub-saturation of injected water (-80 to 0°C).

  • The deposit of residual power (0 to 300 W/kg).

On the flooding of a debris bed consisting of identically sized beads (homogeneous bed) in the presence of non-heated larger quartz beads (bypass) or even of a heterogeneous debris bed.

This facility is used for carrying out the experimental campaigns scheduled in relation to the PROGRES program proposed for studying the mitigation of the progress of corium inside the vessel.

Images: Pearl facility ©‎ IRSN

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