The COOLOCE test facility has been used for experimental investigations of the coolability of porous core debris beds with different geometries. The main objective of the experiments was to compare the dryout behavior of conical (heap-like) and top-flooded cylindrical (evenly distributed) debris bed configurations in order to investigate the effect of geometry on the coolability of the debris bed. The experimental debris beds simulate the possible outcomes of melt discharge from the reactor pressure vessel and the formation of a core debris bed in a deep water pool during a severe accident. The results suggest that if the two debris bed configurations have equal height, the coolability of the conical bed is improved compared to the cylindrical bed due to the multi-dimensional infiltration of water through the surface of the cone. However, in case the conical and cylindrical debris beds have equal diameter and volume, the dryout power density of the conical configuration is lower than that of the cylindrical configuration by approximately 50%. This is due to the greater height of the conical configuration which leads to increased heat flux in the upper parts of the conical debris bed. According to the present results, the effect of the increased debris bed height is greater than the effect of multi-dimensional flooding. Simulations show the differences between the two-phase flow behavior of the two geometries, and the resulting difference in dryout development.
Takasuo, E., Holmström, S., Kinnunen, T., & Pankakoski, P. H. (2012). The COOLOCE experiments investigating the dryout power in debris beds of heap-like and cylindrical geometries. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 250, 687-700. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucengdes.2012.06.015