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On-line Fission Products measurements during a PWR severe accident the French DECA-PF project

Abstract : Following the Fukushima accident, a lot of recommendations was drawn by international organizations (IAEA, OECD, NUGENIA network ) in order to improve the safety in such accidental conditions and mitigate their consequences. One of these recommendations was to improve the robustness of the instrumentation, which was dramatically lacking at Fukushima, as well as to better determine the Source Term involved in nuclear accident.The DECA-PF project (Diagnosis of a degraded reactor core through Fission Product measurements) was elaborated in this context and selected as one of 21 collaborative RandD projects in the field of nuclear safety and radioprotection, funded in May 2013 by the French National Research Agency.Over the months following the Fukushima accident, a CEA crisis team was held in order to analyze on-line the situation taking into account the data delivered by TEPCO and other organizations. Despite the difficulties encountered concerning the reliability of these data, the work performed showed the high capacity of Fission Products (FP) measurements to get a diagnosis relative to the status of the reactors and the spent fuel pools (SFP). Based on these FP measurements, it was possible to conclude that the main origin of the releases was coming from the cores and not from the SFP, in particular for SFP-4 which was of high concern, and that the degradation level of the reactors was very large, including probably an extensive core melting. To improve the reliability of this kind of diagnosis, the necessity to get such measurements as soon as possible after the accident and as near as possible from the reactor was stressed.In this way the present DECA-PF project intends to develop a new and innovative instrumentation taking into account the design of the French nuclear power plants on which sand bed filters have been implemented for severe accident management. Three complementary techniques, devoted to measure the FP release on-line, are being studied Gamma spectrometry, with an industrial objective to build a prototype aimed at improving the capacity of the present radiation monitoring system,Gas chromatography, for the quantification of the fission gases (Xe, Kr) as well as potential carbon oxides produced in case of Molten Corium Concrete Interaction,Optical absorption spectroscopy, the objective of this most innovative technique being to quantify the tetra-oxide of ruthenium, which could be produced in case of lower head failure, and the gaseous forms of iodine (molecular and organic) released in the environment.A global description and the present status of this project is presented, focusing on the Source Term establishment at the outlet stack of the sand bed filters and on the perspectives of implementation of the on-line gamma spectrometry equipment.
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G. Ducros, P.-G. Allinei, C. Roure, C. Rozel, N. Blanc de Lanaute, et al.. On-line Fission Products measurements during a PWR severe accident the French DECA-PF project. ANIMMA 2015 - 4th International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications, Apr 2015, Lisbon, Portugal. ⟨cea-02509258⟩

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