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Journal Articles Nuclear Engineering and Design Year : 2016

A physical tool for severe accident mitigation studies


Within the framework of the Generation IV Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR) R and D program of CEA, the core behavior in case of severe accidents is being assessed. Such transients are usually simulated with mechanistic codes (such as SIMMER-III). As a complement to this code, which gives reference accidental transient, a physico-statistical approach is currently followed; its final objective being to derive the variability of the main results of interest for the safety. This approach involves a fast-running simulation of extended accident sequences coupling low-dimensional physical models to advanced statistical analysis techniques. In this context, this paper presents such a low-dimensional physical tool (models and simulation results) dedicated to molten core materials discharge. This 0D tool handles heat transfers from molten (possibly boiling) pools, fuel crust evolution, phase separation/mixing of fuel/steel pools, radial thermal erosion of mitigation tubes, discharge of core materials and associated axial thermal erosion of mitigation tubes. All modules are coupled with a global neutronic evolution model of the degraded core. This physical tool is used to study and to define mitigation features (function of tubes devoted to mitigation inside the core, impact of absorbers falling into the degraded core…) to avoid energetic core recriticality during a secondary phase of a potential severe accident. In the future, this physical tool, associated to statistical treatments of the effect of uncertainties would enable sensitivity analysis studies. This physical tool is described before presenting its comparison against SIMMER-III code results, including a space-and energy-dependent neutron transport kinetic model, on several test cases. Then some sensitivity studies on design parameters are presented providing preliminary information for this reactor fuel oxide core design.

Dates and versions

cea-02389458 , version 1 (02-12-2019)



N. Marie, A. Bachrata, J.M. Seiler, F. Barjot, A. Marrel, et al.. A physical tool for severe accident mitigation studies. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2016, 309, pp.224-235. ⟨10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.08.042⟩. ⟨cea-02389458⟩
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