Review of Design Extension Conditions Experiments and Analyses for Non-degraded Core
Keywords:design extension conditions, RELAP5, TRACE, safety analysis
The second generation nuclear power plants were designed and built to withstand without loss to the systems, structures, and components necessary to ensure public health and safety during design basis accidents (DBAs). In the transient and accident analysis the effects of single active failures and operator errors were considered. There are also accident sequences that are possible but were judged to be too unlikely and therefore were not fully considered in the design process of second generation reactors. In that sense, they were considered beyond the scope of design-basis accidents that a nuclear facility must be designed and built to withstand. Such accident sequences have been analysed in the past to fully understand the capability of a design. The requirements to analyse such sequences for existing reactors have been introduced after Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. In 2012 the design extension conditions (DECs) were introduced in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) requirements for the design of nuclear power plants (NPPs). Western European Nuclear Regulators Association (WENRA) requirements of existing reactors for DEC were introduced in 2014. The purpose of considering DEC is to further improve safety by enhancing the plant’s capability to withstand the conditions generated by accidents that are more severe than DBAs. This concept by IAEA and WENRA (WENRA definition of DEC is consistent with IAEA definition from 2012, in which DEC with prevention of core melt is called DEC A) is not completely new, since some multiple failures have already been considered in the design of existing reactors, for example anticipated transients without scram and station blackout. The research for beyond design basis accidents with non-degraded core (i.e. DEC A) for existing reactors has been already done in 80’s and 90’ of the previous century. The purpose of this paper is to review that research. The tests performed include total loss of feedwater, station blackout, small break without high pressure safety injection, steam generator tube rupture with no high pressure safety injection etc. Besides review of experiments performed on integral test facilities, examples of DEC A tests, which have been analysed at Jožef Stefan Institute using RELAP5 or TRACE computer code in the last three decades, will be presented too.