United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Analysis of Potential for Jet-Impingement Erosion from Leaking Steam Generator Tubes During Severe Accidents (NUREG/CR-6756)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: December 2001
Date Published: May 2002

Prepared by:
S. Majumdar, D. R. Diercks, W. J. Shack

Energy Technology Division
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439

J. Muscara, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code W6487

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Abstract

This report summarizes analytical evaluation of crack-opening areas and leak rates of superheated steam through flaws in steam generator tubes and erosion of neighboring tubes due to jet impingement of superheated steam with entrained particles from core debris created during severe accidents. An analytical model for calculating crack-opening area as a function of time and temperature was validated with tests on tubes with machined flaws. A three dimensional computational fluid dynamics code was used to calculate the jet velocity impinging on neighboring tubes as a function of tube spacing and crack-opening area. Erosion tests were conducted in a high-temperature, high-velocity erosion rig at the University of Cincinnati, using micrometer-sized nickel particles mixed in with high-temperature gas from a burner. The erosion results, together with analytical models, were used to estimate the erosive effects of superheated steam with entrained aerosols from the core during severe accidents.

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