Towards the Direct Numerical Simulation of a Simplified Pressurized Thermal Shock
The integrity assessment of a Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) is considered to be an important issue for lifetime extension of nuclear reactors. A severe transient that can threaten the integrity of the RPV is the existence of a Pressurized Thermal Shock (PTS) during a Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) (Shams et al, Nucl Eng Des 300:282–296, 2016, ). A PTS consists of a rapid cooling of the RPV wall under pressurized conditions that may induce the criticality of existing or postulated defects inside the vessel wall. The most severe PTS event has been identified by Emergency Core Cooling (ECC) injection during a LOCA. The injected cold water mixes with hot water present in the cold leg, and flows towards the downcomer, causing further thermal mixing and, therefore, large temperature gradients. This sudden change in temperature may induce high stresses in the RPV wall, leading to the propagation of flaws inside the vessel wall, especially in the embrittled region adjacent to the core. A proper knowledge of these loads is important for the RPV remnant lifetime assessment.
The work described in this paper is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. The N3 UDNS computations presented in the paper are performed at Swierk Computing Centre within the framework of the EU and MSHE grant no. POIG.02.03.00-00-013/09.
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