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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



Synthesis of the ICARE/CATHARE V1 validation

P. Chatelard, Technical report DRS/SEMAR 02/07 diffused in October 2003 on CD-ROM


This report is devoted to present the main lessons drawn at IRSN from the validation of the ICARE/CATHARE V1mod1 version. This assessment work was carried out during two years (2000-2002) in the frame of the ICARE/CATHARE Users’ Club. According to the modelling capabilities of the V1mod1 version, both early and late degradation phases are concerned by these validation activities. Conversely, the reflooding conditions are out of the scope of this validation, although some prospective works in this domain have been realised.

The framework of the ICARE/CATHARE code development and validation, along with the main objectives of this IRSN analytical programme are first recalled in general section. Then, the ICARE/CATHARE validation matrix is presented and the code version which has been used to perform these validation activities is shortly described on a physical point of view.

The main part of this document concerns the results of the validation process. The comparison of the ICARE/CATHARE (or ICARE2) simulations against the experimental data is provided in two crossed ways : analysis by experiment and analysis by physical process. First, a global evaluation of the code results is briefly proposed for each Integral Test belonging to the validation matrix. Then, for each physical phenomenon playing an important role in the course of a severe accident, the code responses are analysed in detail taking into account most of the tests (both Separate-Effect-Tests and Integral Tests) in which this phenomenon has been exhibited and quantified.

Finally, before drawing conclusions about the ICARE/CATHARE V1mod1 validation, recommendations are provided for both users (users’ guidelines) and developers (open modelling issues). On one hand, the update of the so-called « Users’ Guidelines » should help users making reactor applications in the preparation of best-estimate ICARE/CATHARE input data (optimal use of the V1mod1 code version, knowing clearly its capabilities and shortcomings). On the other hand, the identification of the main modelling weaknesses in the current code version should enable developers in defining priorities for the future developments to be included in the next V2 and V3 code versions.

Document available on CD-ROM
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