Safety studies for the MYRRHA critical core with the SIMMER-III code

Francesco Belloni, Diego Castelliti, Marc Schyns, Xue-Nong Chen, Tian-Rui Li, Fabrizio Gabrielli, Andrei Rineiski, Lena Andriolo, Liancheng Guo, Evaldas Bubelis, Giacomino Bandini, Massimo Sarotto

Research outputpeer-review


The presented studies are carried out within the European 7th framework project MAXSIMA, in which the MYRRHA reactor, which stands for Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications, developed at SCK-CEN (Belgian Nuclear Research Centre), is investigated. The SIMMER code is employed for severe accident investigations of the reactor at KIT and SCK-CEN in both critical and ADS subcritical modes. In this paper only studies for the critical core are presented. The SIMMER-III model has been set up and assessed first for the neutronic feedback coefficients. Its calculated fuel, coolant and structure feedbacks agree well with the results evaluated by means of the European Reactor ANalysis Optimized System (ERANOS). For benchmarking of the SIMMER-III coupled neutronics and fluid-dynamics model, several Unprotected Transients due to Over Power (UTOP) have been calculated and compared with results of transient system codes. Very good agreement is demonstrated. In case of the largest and quickest reactivity insertion under hypothetical accident conditions, the reactor is assumed to turn for a short time into a slightly prompt supercritical state, but a quite mild power excursion takes place. Blockage accidents are studied in detail with SIMMER only. In total three scenarios have been investigated, namely the blockages of a single fuel assembly (FA), the protected core blockage scenario and the damage propagation of defective pin failures. Our studies demonstrated no core damage propagation can possibly occur under the different blockage scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1042
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of nuclear energy
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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