IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



Progress on ruthenium release and transport under air ingress conditions

Congress title :ERMSAR 2007 2nd European Review Meeting on Severe Accident Research
Congress town :Karlsruhe
Congress date :12/06/2007


A particular concern in the event of a hypothetical severe accident is the potential release of highly radiotoxic fission product (FP) isotopes of ruthenium. The highest risk for a large quantity of these isotopes to reach the containment arises from air ingress following vessel melt-through. One work package (WP) of the SARNET Source Term topic is producing and synthesizing information on ruthenium release and transport with the aim of validating or improving the corresponding modelling of the ASTEC code. The WP includes reactor-scenario studies that can be used to define conditions of new experiments. The experimental database currently being reviewed includes the following programmes: -AECL Experiments conducted on fission product release in air; results are relevant to CANDU loss of end-fitting accidents; -VERCORS tests on FP release and transport conducted by CEA in collaboration with IRSN and EDF; additional tests may potentially be conducted in more oxidizing conditions in the VERDON facility; -RUSET tests by AEKI investigating ruthenium transport with and without other FP simulants; -Experiments by VTT on ruthenium transport and speciation in highly-oxidizing conditions. In addition to the above, at IRSN and at ENEA modelling of fission product release and of fuel oxidation is being pursued, the latter being an essential boundary condition influencing ruthenium release. Reactor scenario studies have been carried out at INR, EDF and IRSN: calculations of air ingress scenarios with respectively SCDAP/RELAP5 and ICARE/CATHARE V2; SATURNE-MAAP; and ASTEC codes provided first insights of thermal-hydraulic conditions that the fuel may experience after lower head vessel failure.


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