Publications Repository - Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

1 Publication

Experimental determination of the boron concentration distribution in the primary circuit of a PWR after a postulated cold leg small break loss-of-coolant-accident with cold leg safety injection

Kliem, S.; Prasser, H.-M.; Sühnel, T.; Weiss, F.-P.; Hansen, A.


It is known that under-borated coolant can accumulate in the loops and that it can be transported towards the reactor core during a loss of coolant accident. Therefore, the mixing of weakly borated water inside the reactor pressure vessel was investigated using the ROCOM test facility. Wire mesh sensors based on electrical conductivity measurement are used to measure in detail the spreading of a tracer solution in the facility. The mixing in the downcomer was observed with a measuring grid of 64 azimuthal and 32 vertical positions. The resulting distribution of the boron concentration at the core inlet was measured with a sensor integrated into the lower core support plate providing one measurement position at the entry into each fuel assembly.
The boundary conditions for this mixing experiment are taken from an experiment at the thermal hydraulic test facility PKL operated by AREVA Germany. The slugs, which have a lower density, accumulate in the upper part of the downcomer after entering the vessel. The ECC water injected into the reactor pressure vessel falls almost straight down through this weakly borated water layer and accelerates as it drops over the height of the downcomer. On the outer sides of the ECC streak, lower borated coolant admixes and flows together with the ECC water downwards. This has been found to be the only mechanism of transporting the lower borated water into the lower plenum. In the core inlet plane, a reduced boron concentration is detected only in the outer reaches of the core inlet. The minimum instantaneous boron concentration that was measured at a single fuel element inlet was found to be 66.3 % of the initial 2500 ppm.