On the prediction of the reactor vessel integrity under severe accident loadings (RPVSA)

R. Krieg, J. Devos, C. Caroli, G. Solomos, P.J. Ennis, D. Kalkhof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


In order to allow more reliable predictions on the lower head response under core melt-down conditions, the temperature distribution has been analysed including the natural convection in the corium pool. Furthermore, the mechanical models and the failure criteria have been improved based on the RUPTHER and FASTHER experiments where typical temperature gradients are simulated. Lower head local melting as well as corium crust development has been addressed in the CORVIS experiments studying the contact between an alumina/iron thermite and a thick steel plate. The upper head loading by corium impact due to a postulated in-vessel steam explosion has been investigated by the BERDA experiments. Similarity rules were considered such that the results can be directly converted to reactor conditions. Based on these investigations admissible steam explosion energy releases are determined which the upper head can carry. If these limits are not exceeded the reactor containment cannot be endangered by broken head fragments. To provide the necessary basic data, mechanical material tests have been performed. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117 - 125
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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