An Assessment of the CORCON-MOD3 Code Part I: Thermal-Hydraulic Calculations (NUREG/IA-0129, Part I)

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Publication Information

Date Published: September 1996

Prepared by:
V. Strizhov, V. Kanukova, T. Vinogradova, E. Askenov
Institute of Nuclear Safety
Russian Academy of Sciences

V. Nikulshin
Kurchatov Institute
Russian Research Center

Prepared as part of:
The Agreement on Research and Technical Exchange under the International
Thermal-Hydraulic Code Assessment and Application Program

Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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This report deals with the subject of CORCON-Mod3 code validation (thermal-hydraulic modeling capability only) based on MCCI experiments conducted under different programs in the past decade. Thermal-hydraulic calculations (i.e., concrete ablation, melt temperature, melt energy, concrete temperature, and condensible and non-condensible gas generation) were performed with the code, and compared with the data from 15 experiments, conducted at different scales using both simulant (metallic and oxidic) and prototypic melt materials, using different concrete types, and with and without an overlying water pool. Sensitivity studies were performed in a few cases involving, for example, heat transfer from melt to concrete, condensed phase chemistry, etc. Further, special analysis was performed using the ACE L8 experimental data to illustrate the differences between the experimental and the reactor conditions, and to demonstrate that with proper corrections made to the code, the calculated results were in better agreement with the experimental data.

Generally, in the case of dry cavity and metallic melts, CORCON-Mod3 thermal-hydraulic calculations were in good agreement with the test data. For oxidic melts in a dry cavity, uncertainties in heat transfer models played an important role for two melt configurations - a stratified geometry with segregated metal and oxide layers, and a heterogeneous mixture. Some discrepancies in the gas release data were noted in a few cases. These discrepancies were attributed, in part, to condensed phase chemical reactions modeling and, in part, to experimental uncertainties. In the case of wet cavity, good agreement was found between the experimental data and code calculations except, again, for the gas release data. With proper corrections made to the code to account for correct condensed phase chemistry and with corrections made to the input data to account for experimental uncertainties, better agreement between code calculations and experimental data was noted.

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