Ablation analysis with MPS for proposing ex-vessel corium spreading management in light water reactors

Masafumi Katta, Guangtao Duan, Akifumi Yamaji, Masahiro Furuya

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In a postulated sever accident of a light water reactor (LWR), molten core debris (corium) may breach the reactor pressure vessel and be released to the ex-vessel containment floor. A core catcher manages ex-vessel corium cooling by uniformly spreading the corium into a large space, but it requires a dedicated plant design. In contrast, corium shields have been back-fitted to some boiling water reactors to prevent excessive amount of corium to flow into sump pits, where effective corium cooling may be difficult. However, corium shields can only block the corium flow and cannot contribute to uniform spreading of the ex-vessel corium. This study proposes a preliminary concept of “Debris Spreading Floor”, which can be applied to any types of reactor plants including back-fitting to the existing plants. More specifically, the existing containment floor is overlaid with sacrificial material and refractory material is placed around sump pits. It is intended to allow the original function of sump pits to collect leaking water under normal, abnormal transient and design basis accident conditions. However, under postulated severe accident condition, spreading of ex-vessel corium is promoted by ablating itself with the hot corium and guiding corium spreading away from sump pits. To develop the concept, mechanistic analysis of corium spreading, which can consider influence of substrate ablation, is needed. The Moving Particle Semi-implicit (MPS) method is a Lagrangian particle method and thus suitable for mechanistic simulation of free-surface spreading flow involving solid / liquid phase change and interactions. In this research, effect of the proposed concept is firstly presented with the MPS simulations. Preliminary simulations in 2D show that, amount of corium flowing into sump pits is reduced by the concept. Secondly, validity of the MPS simulations is quantitatively discussed by simulating the experiments with simulant. The experiment was carried out by Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) by pouring liquid Pb-Bi onto a Pb-Bi block so that the inflow liquid spreads on the block surface while it also ablates the block. Sensitivity analyses have been carried out with different initial conditions, calculation resolutions, subscale models and parameters of the MPS simulations to identify the key models and parameters for quantitative prediction of the melt / substrate interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 27th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE 2019 - "Nuclear Power Saves the World!"
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9784888983051
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 18
Event27th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Nuclear Power Saves the World!, ICONE 2019 - Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
Duration: 2019 May 192019 May 24

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Proceedings, ICONE


Conference27th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Nuclear Power Saves the World!, ICONE 2019
CityTsukuba, Ibaraki


  • Ablation
  • Corium spreading
  • MCCI
  • MPS method
  • Particle method
  • Sever accident

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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