Next Generation Nuclear Plant Phenomena Identification and Ranking Tables (PIRTs) (NUREG/CR-6944) – Volume 2: Accident and Thermal Fluids Analysis PIRTs

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: October 2007
Date Published: March 2008

Prepared by:
S.J. Ball – Panel Chair

Panel Members:
M. Corradini (University of Wisconsin)
S.E. Fisher (ORNL)
R. Gauntt (SNL)
G. Geffraye (CEA-France)
J.C. Gehin (ORNL)
Y. Hassan (Texas A&M)
D.L. Moses (ORNL)
J.-P. Renier (ORNL)
R. Schultz (INL)
T. Wei (ANL)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6170

S. Basu, NRC Project Manager

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

NRC Job Code N6376

Availability Notice


An accident, thermal fluids, and reactor physics phenomena identification and ranking process was conducted by a panel of experts on the next generation nuclear plant (NGNP) design (consideration given to both pebble-bed and prismatic gas-cooled reactor configurations). Safety-relevant phenomena, importance, and knowledge base were assessed for the following event classes:

  1. normal operation (including some reactor physics aspects),
  2. general loss of forced circulation (G-LOFC),
  3. pressurized loss-of-forced circulation (P-LOFC),
  4. depressurized loss-of-forced circulation (D-LOFC),
  5. air ingress (following D-LOFC),
  6. reactivity transients—including anticipated transients without scram (ATWS),
  7. processes coupled via intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) (IHX failure with molten salt), and
  8. steam/water ingress.

The panel's judgment of the importance ranking of a given phenomenon (or process) was based on the effect it had on one or more figures of merit or evaluation criteria. These included public and worker dose, fuel failure, and primary (and other safety) system integrity. The major phenomena of concern that were identified and categorized as high importance combined with medium to low knowledge follow:

  • core coolant bypass flows (normal operation),
  • power/flux profiles (normal operation),
  • outlet plenum flows (normal operation),
  • reactivity-temperature feedback coefficients for high-plutonium-content cores (normal operation and accidents),
  • fission product release related to the transport of silver (normal operation),
  • emissivity aspects for the vessel and reactor cavity cooling system (G-LOFC),
  • reactor vessel cavity air circulation and heat transfer (G-LOFC), and
  • convection/radiation heating of upper vessel area (P-LOFC).

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