Analyses on ex-vessel debris formation and coolability in SARNET frame

G. Pohlner, M. Buck, R. Meignen, P. Kudinov, W. Ma, F. Polidoro, Eveliina Takasuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The major aim of work in the SARNET2 European project on ex-vessel debris formation and coolability was to get an overall perspective on coolability of melt released from a failed reactor pressure vessel and falling into a water-filled cavity. Especially, accident management concepts for BWRs, dealing with deep water pools below the reactor vessel, are addressed, but also shallower pools in existing PWRs, with questions about partial cooling and time delay of molten corium concrete interaction. The subject can be divided into three main topics: (i) Debris bed formation by breakup of melt, (ii) Coolability of debris and (iii) Coupled treatment of the processes. Accompanied by joint collaborations of the partners, the performed work comprises theoretical, experimental and modelling activities.Theoretical work was done by KTH on the melt outflow conditions from a RPV and on the quantification of the probability of yielding a non-coolable ex-vessel bed by use of probabilistic assessment.IKE introduced a theoretical concept to improve debris bed coolability. A large amount of experimental work was done by partners (KTH, VTT, IKE) on the coolability of debris beds using different bed geometries, particles, heating methods and water feeds, yielding a valuable base for code validation. Modelling work was mainly done by IKE, IRSN, RSE and VTT concerning jet breakup and/or debris bed formation and cooling in 2D and 3D geometries. A benchmark for the DEFOR-A experiment of KTH was performed.Important progress was reached for several tasks and aspects and important insights are given, enabling to focus the view on possible key aspects of future activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event6th European Review meeting on Severe Accident Research, ERMSAR-2013 - Avignon, France
Duration: 2 Oct 20134 Oct 2013
Conference number: 6


  • nuclear power plants
  • severe accidents
  • melt fragmentation
  • debris bed formation
  • debris coolability
  • multidimensional modelling
  • code validation


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