During a hypothetical core-disruptive accident (CDA) in a sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR), degraded core materials can form roughly conically-shaped debris beds over the core-support structure and/or in the lower inlet plenum of the reactor vessel from rapid quenching and fragmentation of the core material pool. However, coolant boiling may ultimately lead to leveling of the debris bed, which is crucial to the relocation of the molten core and heat-removal capability of the debris bed. To clarify the mechanisms underlying this self-leveling behavior, a large number of experiments were performed within a variety of conditions in recent years, under the constructive collaboration between the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and Kyushu University (Japan). The present contribution synthesizes and gives detailed comparative analyses of those experiments. Effects of various experimental parameters that may have potential influence on the leveling process, such as boiling mode, particle size, particle density, particle shape, bubbling rate, water depth and column geometry, were investigated, thus giving a large palette of favorable data for the better understanding of CDAs, and improved verifications of computer models developed in advanced fast reactor safety analysis codes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering