R&D on early detection of the Total Instantaneous Blockage for 4th Generation Reactors - Inventory of non-nuclear methods investigated by the CEA

Abstract : In the safety analysis for the core of the 4th Generation Reactors, the Total Instantaneous Blockage (TIB) is a hypothetic accident scenario involving the melting of the blocked subassembly with a risk of propagation to the neighbouring subassemblies. To avoid this latter consequence a detection system has to scram the reactor. For Superphénix or EFR project a Delayed Neutron Detection Integrated (DND I) was considered as efficient to limit the melting to the first neighbouring subassemblies. Nonetheless for the CFV core the objective of improving the safety leads to limit the melting to the blocked subassembly. For this purpose, the CEA has launched a program development to find a new detection method. This paper provides a brief review of the feedback of R&D, progress and program on the various early non-nuclear detection methods investigated by the CEA: • Temperature measurement at the subassemblies outlet by thermocouples. The advantage of this method is that it will require no additional instrumentation to that already present for continuous monitoring. • Temperature measurement at the subassemblies outlet by Optical Fibers Bragg Grating (OFBG). This technology has the electromagnetic immunity, compactness and short response time. • Temperature measurement at the subassemblies outlet by ultrasound. The measuring point is located closer to the head subassembly and the response time could be shorter. • Acoustic detection of sodium boiling. Boiling occurs early in the accident progress and the area to be monitored may be covered by few sensors. • Subassemblies loss of flow detection by eddy-current flowmeters. This method seems logically the easiest and the most immediate method to detect a blockage. To date, none of these methods has been fully demonstrated to be feasible. It should be noted that temperature measurement methods will probably consist of the detection of a low increase rate using specific signal processing. These methods have been compared according to their performance that may be expected and their maturity level. The shorter time to qualifying is for eddy-current flowmeters and thermocouples.
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https://hal-cea.archives-ouvertes.fr/cea-01822352
Contributor : Léna Le Roy <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 25, 2018 - 7:58:46 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 22, 2019 - 10:52:02 AM

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K. Paumel, J.P. Jeannot, T. Jeanne, G. Laffont, M. Vanderhaegen, et al.. R&D on early detection of the Total Instantaneous Blockage for 4th Generation Reactors - Inventory of non-nuclear methods investigated by the CEA. 2013 3rd International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation, Measurement Methods and their Applications (ANIMMA), Jun 2013, Marseille, France. ⟨10.1109/ANIMMA.2013.6727985⟩. ⟨cea-01822352⟩

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