New research project aims to gain data on corium properties to enhance severe accident analysis

VITI 169

Photo: VITI furnace, CEA

The COPS (COrium Properties for reactor Simulation and uncertainties) project began on 17 May 2024 its five-year programme to investigate the thermo-physical properties of corium melts (such as density, surface tension and viscosity) that affect the modeling and analysis of corium melt stabilisation strategies in a reactor during a severe accident.

The project is organised under the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) co-operative projects framework and is being operated by the French Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, or CEA). Its first meeting was jointly organised by the NEA and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) at the KTH in Stockholm, Sweden. The project involves 15 organisations (9 signatories and 6 third parties) from 7 countries (Canada, Czechia, France, Hungary, Japan, Sweden and the United States).

As part of the project, small scale experiments are planned to provide data for 40 corium melts compositions that are representative of in-vessel and ex-vessel compositions for different reactor designs, both existing and advanced. Two larger integral tests will also be conducted to investigate phenomena related to in- or ex-vessel corium melt stabilisation strategies. The first meeting was used to decide on how to select the compositions that will be investigated first and to outline how to co-operatively develop approaches to integrate the generated knowledge in severe accident analysis tools.

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