EPJ Nuclear Sci. Technol.
Volume 9, 2023
Euratom Research and Training in 2022: the Awards collection
|Number of page(s)||9|
|Section||Part 1: Safety research and training of reactor systems|
|Published online||10 January 2023|
On physics of a hypothetical core disruptive accident in Multipurpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications – MYRRHA
Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN), Institute for Advanced Nuclear Systems, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium
2 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technologies, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
3 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven), Institute for Mechanics, Celestijnenlaan 300, 3001 Leuven, Belgium
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 24 October 2022
Accepted: 3 November 2022
Published online: 10 January 2023
The sensitivity of the reactivity of a fast reactor core to changes in its geometry and/or fuel relocation calls for particular attention with regard to criticality events. A category of these events, the so-called Core Disruptive Accidents (CDAs), are intensively studied in the safety assessment of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFRs), and more recently also in the case of other systems. Differences between SFRs and Heavy Liquid Metal Fast Reactors (HLMFRs) are significant and therefore warrant an understanding of phenomena and the development of models specific to HLMFRs. This paper provides a qualitative overview of the physics relevant to the investigation of a CDA in HLMFR, with a particular application to the Multipurpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications – MYRRHA. At first, a core compaction mechanism viable for an HLMFR has been postulated. In what follows, simulation by an already existing severe accidents code, as well as modelling based on fundamental physics and engineering, have been performed. It is demonstrated that, for a linear insertion of reactivity due to hypothetical core compaction, the reversal of reactivity evolution happens due to the Doppler effect and the thermal expansion of core materials. Subsequent expansion by fuel melting terminates the prompt-critical event and makes the system delayed-supercritical. Successive fuel and/or coolant boiling is responsible for the hydrodynamic disassembly of the core and it therefore effectively terminates the transient.
© Đ. Petrović et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2023
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