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Mechanical Sciences An open-access journal for theoretical and applied mechanics

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Mech. Sci., 9, 147-160, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/ms-9-147-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
02 Mar 2018
Structural integrity investigation for RPV with various cooling water levels under pressurized melting pool
Jianfeng Mao1,2, Yunkai Liu1, Shiyi Bao1,2, Lijia Luo1,2, Zhiming Lu1,2, and Zengliang Gao1,2 1Institute of Process Equipment and Control Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310032, China
2Engineering Research Center of Process Equipment and Re-manufacturing, Ministry of Education, Hangzhou, China
Abstract. The strategy denoted as in-vessel retention (IVR) is widely used in severe accident (SA) management by most advanced nuclear power plants. The essence of IVR mitigation is to provide long-term external water cooling in maintaining the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) integrity. Actually, the traditional IVR concept assumed that RPV was fully submerged into the water flooding, and the melting pool was depressurized during the SA. The above assumptions weren't seriously challenged until the occurrence of Fukushima accident on 2011, suggesting the structural behavior had not been appropriately assessed. Therefore, the paper tries to address the structure-related issue on determining whether RPV safety can be maintained or not with the effect of various water levels and internal pressures created from core meltdown accident. In achieving it, the RPV structural behaviors are numerically investigated in terms of several field parameters, such as temperature, deformation, stress, plastic strain, creep strain, and total damage. Due to the presence of high temperature melt on the inside and water cooling on the outside, the RPV failure is governed by the failure mechanisms of creep, thermal-plasticity and plasticity. The creep and plastic damages are interacted with each other, which further accelerate the failure process. Through detailed investigation, it is found that the internal pressure as well as water levels plays an important role in determining the RPV failure time, mode and site.
Citation: Mao, J., Liu, Y., Bao, S., Luo, L., Lu, Z., and Gao, Z.: Structural integrity investigation for RPV with various cooling water levels under pressurized melting pool, Mech. Sci., 9, 147-160, https://doi.org/10.5194/ms-9-147-2018, 2018.
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Short summary
The traditional concepts on severe accident mitigation weren't seriously challenged until the occurrence of Fukushima accident on 2011, suggesting the structural behavior had not been appropriately assessed. Therefore, the paper tries to address the structure-related issue on determining whether structural safety can be maintained or not with the effect of various water levels and internal pressures created from core meltdown accident. The creep and plastic damages are interacted with each other
The traditional concepts on severe accident mitigation weren't seriously challenged until the...
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