§ 50.46 Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors
(a)(1)(i) Each boiling or pressurized light-water nuclear power reactor fueled with uranium oxide pellets within cylindrical zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding must be provided with an emergency core cooling system (ECCS) that must be designed so that its calculated cooling performance following postulated loss-of-coolant accidents conforms to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. ECCS cooling performance must be calculated in accordance with an acceptable evaluation model and must be calculated for a number of postulated loss-of-coolant accidents of different sizes, locations, and other properties sufficient to provide assurance that the most severe postulated loss-of-coolant accidents are calculated. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, the evaluation model must include sufficient supporting justification to show that the analytical technique realistically describes the behavior of the reactor system during a loss-of-coolant accident. Comparisons to applicable experimental data must be made and uncertainties in the analysis method and inputs must be identified and assessed so that the uncertainty in the calculated results can be estimated. This uncertainty must be accounted for, so that, when the calculated ECCS cooling performance is compared to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, there is a high level of probability that the criteria would not be exceeded. Appendix K, Part II Required Documentation, sets forth the documentation requirements for each evaluation model. This section does not apply to a nuclear power reactor facility for which the certifications required under § 50.82(a)(1) have been submitted.
(ii) Alternatively, an ECCS evaluation model may be developed in conformance with the required and acceptable features of appendix K ECCS Evaluation Models.
(2) The Director of Nuclear Reactor Regulation may impose restrictions on reactor operation if it is found that the evaluations of ECCS cooling performance submitted are not consistent with paragraphs (a)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section.
(3)(i) Each applicant for or holder of an operating license or construction permit issued under this part, applicant for a standard design certification under part 52 of this chapter (including an applicant after the Commission has adopted a final design certification regulation), or an applicant for or holder of a standard design approval, a combined license or a manufacturing license issued under part 52 of this chapter, shall estimate the effect of any change to or error in an acceptable evaluation model or in the application of such a model to determine if the change or error is significant. For this purpose, a significant change or error is one which results in a calculated peak fuel cladding temperature different by more than 50 °F from the temperature calculated for the limiting transient using the last acceptable model, or is a cumulation of changes and errors such that the sum of the absolute magnitudes of the respective temperature changes is greater than 50 °F.
(ii) For each change to or error discovered in an acceptable evaluation model or in the application of such a model that affects the temperature calculation, the applicant or holder of a construction permit, operating license, combined license, or manufacturing license shall report the nature of the change or error and its estimated effect on the limiting ECCS analysis to the Commission at least annually as specified in § 50.4 or § 52.3 of this chapter, as applicable. If the change or error is significant, the applicant or licensee shall provide this report within 30 days and include with the report a proposed schedule for providing a reanalysis or taking other action as may be needed to show compliance with § 50.46 requirements. This schedule may be developed using an integrated scheduling system previously approved for the facility by the NRC. For those facilities not using an NRC approved integrated scheduling system, a schedule will be established by the NRC staff within 60 days of receipt of the proposed schedule. Any change or error correction that results in a calculated ECCS performance that does not conform to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section is a reportable event as described in §§ 50.55(e), 50.72, and 50.73. The affected applicant or licensee shall propose immediate steps to demonstrate compliance or bring plant design or operation into compliance with § 50.46 requirements.
(iii) For each change to or error discovered in an acceptable evaluation model or in the application of such a model that affects the temperature calculation, the applicant or holder of a standard design approval or the applicant for a standard design certification (including an applicant after the Commission has adopted a final design certification rule) shall report the nature of the change or error and its estimated effect on the limiting ECCS analysis to the Commission and to any applicant or licensee referencing the design approval or design certification at least annually as specified in § 52.3 of this chapter. If the change or error is significant, the applicant or holder of the design approval or the applicant for the design certification shall provide this report within 30 days and include with the report a proposed schedule for providing a reanalysis or taking other action as may be needed to show compliance with § 50.46 requirements. The affected applicant or holder shall propose immediate steps to demonstrate compliance or bring plant design into compliance with § 50.46 requirements.
(b)(1) Peak cladding temperature. The calculated maximum fuel element cladding temperature shall not exceed 2200° F.
(2) Maximum cladding oxidation. The calculated total oxidation of the cladding shall nowhere exceed 0.17 times the total cladding thickness before oxidation. As used in this subparagraph total oxidation means the total thickness of cladding metal that would be locally converted to oxide if all the oxygen absorbed by and reacted with the cladding locally were converted to stoichiometric zirconium dioxide. If cladding rupture is calculated to occur, the inside surfaces of the cladding shall be included in the oxidation, beginning at the calculated time of rupture. Cladding thickness before oxidation means the radial distance from inside to outside the cladding, after any calculated rupture or swelling has occurred but before significant oxidation. Where the calculated conditions of transient pressure and temperature lead to a prediction of cladding swelling, with or without cladding rupture, the unoxidized cladding thickness shall be defined as the cladding cross-sectional area, taken at a horizontal plane at the elevation of the rupture, if it occurs, or at the elevation of the highest cladding temperature if no rupture is calculated to occur, divided by the average circumference at that elevation. For ruptured cladding the circumference does not include the rupture opening.
(3) Maximum hydrogen generation. The calculated total amount of hydrogen generated from the chemical reaction of the cladding with water or steam shall not exceed 0.01 times the hypothetical amount that would be generated if all of the metal in the cladding cylinders surrounding the fuel, excluding the cladding surrounding the plenum volume, were to react.
(4) Coolable geometry. Calculated changes in core geometry shall be such that the core remains amenable to cooling.
(5) Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.
(c) As used in this section: (1) Loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCA's) are hypothetical accidents that would result from the loss of reactor coolant, at a rate in excess of the capability of the reactor coolant makeup system, from breaks in pipes in the reactor coolant pressure boundary up to and including a break equivalent in size to the double-ended rupture of the largest pipe in the reactor coolant system.
(2) An evaluation model is the calculational framework for evaluating the behavior of the reactor system during a postulated loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA). It includes one or more computer programs and all other information necessary for application of the calculational framework to a specific LOCA, such as mathematical models used, assumptions included in the programs, procedure for treating the program input and output information, specification of those portions of analysis not included in computer programs, values of parameters, and all other information necessary to specify the calculational procedure.
(d) The requirements of this section are in addition to any other requirements applicable to ECCS set forth in this part. The criteria set forth in paragraph (b), with cooling performance calculated in accordance with an acceptable evaluation model, are in implementation of the general requirements with respect to ECCS cooling performance design set forth in this part, including in particular Criterion 35 of appendix A.
[39 FR 1002, Jan. 4, 1974, as amended at 53 FR 36004, Sept. 16, 1988; 57 FR 39358, Aug. 31, 1992; 61 FR 39299, July 29, 1996; 62 FR 59726, Nov. 3, 1997; 72 FR 49494, Aug. 28, 2007]