Estimation of the fuel debris thermal energy at the time of the major core slumping of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3 with MELCOR-2.2

Mariko Regalado, Xin Li, Akifumi Yamaji, Ikken Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To provide supportive information to understand the current debris status in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit-3, sensitivity analyses have been carried out with MELCOR-2.2 for two scenarios, with/without direct leakage from the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) to the Drywell (D/W). The particular focus of the analyses is the estimated debris thermal energy up to and at the time of the major core slumping event, which may be the key to determine the following debris cooling and failure mechanism of the lower head of the RPV. In the analysis, the debris relocation velocity from the core region to the RPV lower head (VFALL), the number of Safety Relief Valves (SRVs) opening, and the amount of core slumping at the major RPV pressure peak were tuned so that the plant data of RPV and PCV pressure from ca. 9:00 to 12:00 March 13th 2011could be reproduced in each scenario. Best-estimate case conditions are summarized for the with/without direct leakage from RPV to D/W scenarios. As a result, as a consideration common to both scenarios, MELCOR analysis tends to estimate significant core oxidation before Automatic Depressurization System (ADS) actuation, and concomitantly estimates little core oxidation from the time after ADS to the time of the major RPV pressure peak. In addition, although a remarkable difference was found in the amount of hydrogen generated in RPV during the major core slumping between the best-estimate with/without leakage cases, limited difference can be observed for the core oxidation heat generation during the major core slumping. This is because the early Zircaloy oxidation prior to ADS actuation in the current MELCOR modelling resulted that the hydrogen generation source during the major core slumping at 12:00 March 13th was primarily from oxidation of stainless steel, which was not as exothermic as that of Zr oxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108430
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Volume160
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep 15

Keywords

  • Core slumping
  • Debris thermal energy
  • Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
  • MELCOR
  • Unit-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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