Benchmark exercise on SBLOCA experiment of PWR PACTEL facility

Virpi Kouhia (Corresponding Author), Vesa Riikonen, Otso-Pekka Kauppinen, Heikki Purhonen, Henrique Austregesilo, József Bánáti, Marco Cherubini, Francesco d'Auria, Pasi Inkinen, Ismo Karppinen, Pavel Kral, Lauri Peltokorpi, Joanna Peltonen, Sebastian Weber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The PWR PACTEL benchmark exercise was organized in Lappeenranta, Finland by Lappeenranta University of Technology. The benchmark consisted of two phases, i.e. a blind and an open calculation task. Seven organizations from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Finland participated in the benchmark exercise, and four system codes were utilized in the benchmark simulation tasks. Two workshops were organized for launching and concluding the benchmark, the latter of which involved presentations of the calculation results as well as discussions on the related modeling issues.

    The chosen experiment for the benchmark was a small break loss of coolant accident experiment which was performed to study the natural circulation behavior over a continuous range of primary side coolant inventories. For the blind calculation task, the detailed facility descriptions, the measured pressure and heat losses as well as the results of a short characterizing transient were provided. For the open calculation task part, the experiment results were released.

    According to the simulation results, the benchmark experiment was quite challenging to model. Several improvements were found and utilized especially for the open calculation case. The issues concerned model construction, heat and pressure losses impact, interpreting measured and calculated data, non-condensable gas effect, testing several condensation and CCFL correlations, sensitivity studies, as well as break modeling. There is a clear need for user guidelines or for a collection of best practices in modeling for every code.

    The benchmark offered a unique opportunity to test the best practices and solutions in modeling and analyzing tasks as well as a possibility to increase knowledge about the interpretation of test results. The benchmark exercise served as a practical and rewarding forum to discuss the needs, problems and possibilities in the analysis and in producing useful data with an experiment facility. The workshops provided an advantageous site for interaction of the code users and the experimenters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)149-156
    JournalAnnals of Nuclear Energy
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • EPR
    • natural circulation
    • PWR PACTEL facility
    • small break loss of coolant accident
    • system code banchmark exercise
    • thermal hydaulics


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