Progress on ruthenium release and transport under air ingress conditions

A. Auvinen, G. Brillant, N. Davidovich, R. Dickson, G. Ducros, Y. Dutheillet, P. Giordano, M. Kunstar, T. Kärkelä, M. Mladin, Y. Pontillon, C. Séropian, N. Vér

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A particular concern in the event of a hypothetical severe accident is the potential release of highly radiotoxic fission product (FP) isotopes of ruthenium. The highest risk for a large quantity of these isotopes to reach the containment arises from air ingress following vessel melt-through. One work package (WP) of the source term topic of the EU 6th Framework Network of Excellence project SARNET is producing and synthesizing information on ruthenium release and transport with the aim of validating or improving the corresponding modelling in the European ASTEC severe accident analysis code. The WP includes reactor scenario studies that can be used to define conditions for new experiments. The experimental database currently being reviewed includes the following programmes:•AECL experiments conducted on fission product release in air; results are relevant to CANDU loss of end-fitting accidents;•VERCORS tests on FP release and transport conducted by CEA in collaboration with IRSN and EDF; additional tests may potentially be conducted in more oxidizing conditions in the VERDON facility;•RUSET tests by AEKI investigating ruthenium transport with and without other FP simulants;•Experiments by VTT on ruthenium transport and speciation in highly oxidizing conditions. In addition to the above, at IRSN and at ENEA modelling of fission product release and of fuel oxidation is being pursued, the latter being an essential boundary condition influencing ruthenium release. Reactor scenario studies have been carried out at INR, EDF and IRSN: calculations of air ingress scenarios with respectively ICARE/CATHARE V2; SATURNE-MAAP; and ASTEC codes provided first insights of thermal-hydraulic conditions that the fuel may experience after lower head vessel failure. This paper summarizes the status of this work and plans for the future. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3418 - 3428
Number of pages11
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Auvinen, A., Brillant, G., Davidovich, N., Dickson, R., Ducros, G., Dutheillet, Y., ... Vér, N. (2008). Progress on ruthenium release and transport under air ingress conditions. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 238(12), 3418 - 3428.