Development of MPS method and analytical approach for investigating RPV debris bed and lower head interaction in 1F Units-2 and 3

Nozomu Takahashi*, Guangtao Duan, Akifumi Yamaji, Xin Li, Ikken Sato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The onsite investigations of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (1F) Units-2 and 3 indicate possibilities of multiple breaches of the Reactor Pressure Vessels (RPVs). In the meantime, some analytical works indicate possibilities that the core materials of 1F Units-2 and 3 were once relocated to the lower plenum of the RPVs and cooled (quenched) before the water inventory boiled-off (dry out) and the once-cooled debris re-melted. This study utilizes Lagrangian-based Moving Particle Semi-implicit (MPS) method to investigate such complex solid-liquid multiphase re-melting and the debris-vessel wall interactions to obtain new insight on 1F Units-2 and 3 RPV failure modes to help the future debris retrieval from these reactors. Two major modifications/developments have been carried out based on the previously developed MPS method. Namely, stabilization of rigid-body contact model and the further improvement of the speedup algorithm to enable large and long scale debris-bed re-melting analyses of the real plant scale. The numerical accuracy of the pressure boundary condition at fluid-wall boundary has also been improved. Sensitivity analyses have been carried out with the developed new MPS method. The results indicate the possibility that the lateral part of the RPV may have been subject to not only convective heat transfer of metallic melt pool, but also by conductive heat transfer by oxidic debris conglomerate. The results also indicate that following the initial vessel breach, discharge of metallic melt induces relocation of oxidic debris conglomerates, leading to concentration of the heat source around the central (bottom) part of the lower head. However, large uncertainties associated with 1F are acknowledged and further model validations are necessary before drawing further insights.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111244
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 1


  • 1F Unit-2, Unit-3
  • In-vessel debris re-melting
  • MPS method
  • Severe accident
  • Speedup algorithm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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