Development and first application of a new tool for the simulation of the initiating phase of a severe accident on SFR
Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique, DEN/DTN/STRI/LMA, CE de Cadarache, 13115 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance
In order to improve the safety level of Sodium Fast Reactors, low probability events such as Hypothetical Core Disruptive Accident (HCDA) are analyzed for their potential consequences. The initiating phase of such accidents is of particular interest both for the prevention and the mitigation of routes leading to a large core disruption and recriticalities. Up to now, analysis of the initiating phase of HCDA has been performed with the SAS4A code. The SAS4A accident calculations are based on a multiple-channel approach, which requires that subassemblies or groups of similar subassemblies be represented together as independent channels. The SAS4A severe accident calculation scheme resorts to a simplified treatment in which an average pin is used to represent a channel. A point kinetics model coupled with a feedback reactivity model is also used to provide an estimate of the reactor power level. Both to increase the accuracy and decrease the uncertainties in the prediction of reactor safety margins, a new computational tool is currently under development at CEA Cadarache. The main features of this tool are the ability to provide a detailed sub-channel meshing of the sub-assembly as well as three-dimensional kinetics during severe accident conditions. To fulfill these goals, the fluid-dynamics SIMMER-III code has been coupled to the SNATCH solver using a MPI environment. This coupling allows both to compute the multi-phase and multi-component flows encountered in severe accident conditions and to model the power shape variation during voiding and melting of the different reactor materials. This new calculation scheme relies on a SAS-like multiple-channel treatment, where channel-to-channel heat and momentum exchanges are neglected. In this paper, an overview of the SIMMER-III/SNATCH coupled tool capabilities is provided. A first application of this new tool is also performed and compared with a SAS4A reference calculation. The new SIMMER-III/SNATCH tool proved to be able to model accurately the major phenomenon of the initiating phase i.e. sodium heating and boiling, clad and fuel melting and relocation of the different materials.
Key words: Sodium-cooled fast reactor / Core Disruptive Accident / Initiating Phase / Multi-channel approach
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014