United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Integrated Chemical Effects Test Project: Test #1 Data Report (NUREG/CR-6914, Volume 2)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: August 2006
Date Published:
December 2006

Principal Investigator: J. Dallman

Prepared by:
J. Dallman, J. Garcia, M. Klasky, B. Letellier
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM 87545

K. Howe
University of New Mexico
Department of Civil Engineering
Albuquerque, NM 87110

B.P. Jain, NRC Project Manager

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

NRC Job Code Y6999

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A 30-day test was conducted in the Integrated Chemical Effects Test (ICET) project test apparatus. This was the first of a series of five tests. The test simulated the chemical environment present inside a pressurized water reactor containment water pool after a loss-of-coolant-accident. The initial chemical environment contained 15.14 kg of boric acid, 1.197 g of lithium hydroxide, and 5.87 kg of sodium hydroxide. An additional 2.27 kg of sodium hydroxide was added beginning at 30 minutes and lasting until 4 hours into the test. The test was conducted for 30 days at a constant temperature of 60°C. The materials tested within this environment included representative amounts of submerged and unsubmerged aluminum, copper, concrete, zinc, carbon steel, and fiberglass insulation samples. Representative amounts of concrete dust and latent debris were also added to the test solution. Water was circulated through the bottom portion of the test chamber during the entire test to achieve representative flow rates over the submerged specimens. The test solution reached a pH of 9.5 by the end of the NaOH injection and remained at approximately that level for the 30-day duration of the test. The test solution turbidity was initially about 12 NTU but decreased to less than 1 NTU within 72 hours. However, samples of the test solution cooled to 23°C showed an increase in turbidity from less than 20 NTU at Day 4 to about 130 NTU at Day 30. Total suspended solids (TSS) in the test solution varied somewhat during the test and were roughly in the range of 10 mg/L to about 30 mg/L for the solution at 60°C. End-of-test evaluations indicated TSS levels in the test solution of about 1800 mg/L at 22°C and 100 mg/L at 55°C. Precipitants were formed as the solution was cooled to room temperature. The precipitants were not apparent at the test temperature of 60°C. Analyses of the test solution indicated that high levels of aluminum were present, with levels rising from near zero at the beginning of the test to approximately 350 mg/L after 20 days of testing. Post-test evaluations indicated that the submerged aluminum coupons had lost about 25% of their weight during the test. Examinations of fiberglass taken from the test apparatus after 15 days of testing indicated evidence of chemical products and a web-like material that spanned individual fibers. After 30 days of testing, the web-like material was more prevalent and contiguous webbing appeared to span multiple fibers. Shear-dependent viscosity measurements indicated that the test solution was representative of Newtonian fluid. Samples from the second half of the test exhibited non-Newtonian behavior upon cooling to room temperature.

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