United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Spent Fuel Pool Project Phase II: Pre-Ignition and Ignition Testing of a 1x4 Commercial 17x17 Pressurized Water Reactor Spent Fuel Assemblies under Complete Loss of Coolant Accident Conditions (NUREG/CR-7216)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: September 2013
Date Published: April 2016

Prepared by:
S.G. Durbin, E.R. Lindgren and L. Humphries
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM 87185

Z. Yuan, M. Zavisca and M. Khatib-Rahbar
Energy Research, Inc.
Rockville, MD 20847-2034

R. Beaton
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

G. A. Zigh, NRC Technical Monitor
R. Beaton, NRC Project Manager
S. Gonzalez, NRC Project Manager

NRC Job Code N6777

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

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The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and 12 international partners, conducted an experimental program to obtain experimental data for the characterization of hydraulic and ignition phenomena of prototypic light water reactor fuel assemblies in a spent fuel pool under complete loss of coolant accidents for validation of the MELCOR severe accident computer code. MELCOR is a fully integrated, engineering-level computer code whose primary purpose is to model the progression of postulated accidents in light water reactors as well as non-reactor systems (e.g., spent fuel pool and dry cask). The experimental program was conducted in two phases at Sandia National Laboratories. The first phase focused on axial heating and zirconium fire propagation in a single 17×17 PWR fuel assembly. The second phase consisted of pre-ignition and ignition tests of five prototypic PWR full-length 17×17 fuel assemblies to simulate a complete loss-of-coolant-accident in a spent fuel pool. The assemblies were placed in a 1×4 configuration where the center fuel assembly was electrically heated and the four surrounding assemblies were unheated. Two of the unheated assemblies contained pressurized rods to sstudy ballooning effects.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, April 25, 2016