A REVIEW OF CONTAINMENT ACCIDENTS

Authors
Citation
B. Deboeck, A REVIEW OF CONTAINMENT ACCIDENTS, Nuclear Engineering and Design, 145(3), 1993, pp. 279-288
Citations number
23
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Nuclear Sciences & Tecnology
ISSN journal
0029-5493
Volume
145
Issue
3
Year of publication
1993
Pages
279 - 288
Database
ISI
SICI code
0029-5493(1993)145:3<279:AROCA>2.0.ZU;2-Q
Abstract
The consequences of severe reactor accidents depend greatly on contain ment safety features and containment performance in retaining radioact ive material. If the containment function is maintained in a severe ac cident, the radiological consequences will be minor. If the containmen t function does fail, the timing of failure can be very important. The longer the containment remains intact relative to the time of core me lting and radionuclide release from the reactor coolant system, the mo re time is available to remove radioactive material from the containme nt atmosphere by engineered safety features or natural deposition proc esses. Delay in containment failure or containment bypass also provide s time for protective action, a very important consideration in the as sessment of possible early health effects. Thus, in evaluating the per formance of a containment, it is convenient to consider no failure, ea rly failure, late failure, and containment bypass as separate categori es characterising different degrees of severity. The paper reviews the containment challenges posed by the severe accidents, on the basis of an extensive list of references. First the phenomena that could lead to early containment failure are described: direct containment heating , steam explosions, hydrogen combustion, and isolation failures. Then the late containment failure modes are treated: gradual overpressuriza tion, basemat meltthrough, and overheating. Finally, some words are sa id about containment bypass.