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3D simulation of a 500kg UO$_2$ melt in a cold crucible induction furnace

Abstract : In the field of severe accident studies for nuclear generation reactors 2, 3 and 4, the Plinius-2 project aims to build a new facility to perform experiments of corium interactions tests at a large scale until 2020. In this context, the project in collaboration with ECM Technology has to define and build a furnace able to melt up to 500 kg of simulated corium of various compositions (mix of UO$_2$ ,ZrO$_2$ , steel or concrete). The work presented in this article is a 3D dimensional simulation of a large load of UO$_2$ melts in a cold crucible, including turbulence modelling, induction heating and stirring. Solidification of the oxide near the cold wall of the crucible is taken into account as well as the heat radiation transfer at the free surface. Introduction. The cold crucible technology has been selected in this project because it has already proven his ability to melt corium thanks to Korean [1, 2] and Russian [3, 4] works but only for lower mass. Simulation of such induction furnace is quite well known in the CEA Marcoule for vitrifiction purposes [5, 6]. But the simulation has to be upgraded to take into account LES turbulence modelling and Lorentz forces which were both neglected for glass simulations due to its very high viscosity and low electrical conductivity. Recent work [7] demonstrates the feasibility of similar simulation using a LES turbulence model with a very good accuracy.
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E. Sauvage, P. Brun, J. Lacombe, L. Aufore. 3D simulation of a 500kg UO$_2$ melt in a cold crucible induction furnace. Magnetohydrodynamics c/c of Magnitnaia Gidrodinamika, Institute of Physics, University of Latvia, 2017, 53 (2), pp.267-272. ⟨cea-02339751⟩

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