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Research & Development in Material Science

Experimental Simulation of Molten Corium and Sacrificial Material Interaction in a Scaled Down Core Catcher

  • Open or CloseSamyak S Munot1,2*, Arun K Nayak1,2 and Jyeshtharaj B Joshi1,3

    1Homi Bhabha National Institute, Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai 400094, Maharashtra, India

    2Reactor Engineering Division, Reactor Design and Development Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Maharashtra, India

    3Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Maharashtra, India

    *Corresponding author: Samyak S Munot, Reactor Engineering Division, Reactor Design and Development Group, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai 400085, Maharashtra, India

Submission: November 08, 2021;Published: November 22, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/RDMS.2021.16.000881

ISSN : 2576-8840
Volume16 Issue2


During the severe accident condition involving the core melt, stabilization and cooling the molten corium for long duration is the primary requirement. To address this challenge, core catcher systems are being installed inside the containment of the advanced nuclear reactors. Few ex-vessel core catcher designs incorporate special refractory sacrificial material, which on interaction with molten corium, ablate and reduce the enthalpy of the molten pool. During the interaction, the components of ablated sacrificial material and molten corium are stratified in different layers due to density difference between them, i.e., the low density oxidic components stratify in the top layer while higher density metallic components stratify in the bottom layers in the melt pool. This manuscript presents the material characterization of the stratified melt pool after cooling in an experiment involving interaction of approx. 550kg of molten simulant corium with approx. 150kg of sacrificial material in a scaled down V-shaped ex-vessel core catcher vessel. The cooling strategy in the experiment was similar to prototypic reactor conditions. After cooling and stratification of the melt pool, solid samples from different locations and different heights were collected for SEM-EDS analysis for characterizations. The phenomena of melt inversion were verified in the post-test analysis.

Keywords: Severe accident; Melt inversion; Corium-sacrificial material interaction

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