Molten Core - Concrete Interactions in Nuclear Accidents: Theory and Design of an Experimental Facility

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In a hypothetical severe accident in a nuclear power plant, the molten core of the reactor may flow onto the concrete floor of containment building. This would cause a molten core - concrete interaction (MCCI), in which the heat transfer from the hot melt to the concrete would cause melting of the concrete. In assessing the safety of nuclear reactors, it is important to know the consequences of such an interaction. As background to the subject, this publication includes a description of the core melt stabilization concept of the European Pressurized water Reactor (EPR), which is being built in Olkiluoto in Finland. The publication includes a description of the basic theory of the interaction and the process of spalling or cracking of concrete when it is heated rapidly. A literature survey and some calculations of the physical properties of concrete and corium-concrete mixtures at high temperatures have been conducted. In addition, an equation is derived for conservative calculation of the maximum possible concrete ablation depth. The publication also includes a literature survey of experimental research on the subject of the MCCI and discussion of the results and deficiencies of the experiments. The main result of this work is the general design of an experimental facility to examine the interaction of molten metals and concrete. The main objective of the experiments is to assess the probability of spalling, or cracking, of concrete under pouring of molten material. A program of five experiments has been designed, and pre-test calculations of the experiments have been conducted with MELCOR 1.8.5 accident analysis program and conservative analytic calculations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages88
    ISBN (Electronic)951-38-6744-7
    ISBN (Print)951-38-6743-9
    Publication statusPublished - 2005
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


    • nuclear power plants
    • nuclear safety
    • reactor core
    • meltdown
    • concrete structures
    • containment buildings
    • spalling
    • cracking
    • simulation
    • MELCOR


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