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Experimental Investigation on Fuel Coolant Interaction Using Simulant Ceramic Melts in Water: Insights and Conclusions

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Document pages: 20 pages

Abstract: Steam explosion is one of the crucial and poorly understood phenomena which may occur during severe accident scenario and may lead to containment failure. In spite of several experimental and analytical studies, the root cause of steam explosion has not been understood. Recent claims in the literature suggest that the presence of fine fragmentation during steam explosion causes its occurrence. In order to investigate this and understand the root cause of steam explosion, series of experiments were performed with 50 g to 2500 g of CaO-B2O3, a corium simulant in 4.5 litre of water. It was observed that steam explosion may occur even in the absence of fine fragments, which is contrary to the claims in the literature. To investigate further, conversion efficiency analysis was performed. This suggested that the amount of thermal energy converted to mechanical energy is more important deciding factor in explaining the occurrence of steam explosion. The present study discusses the importance of conversion efficiency in deciding steam explosion and also gives a new perspective to look at steam explosion phenomenology.

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