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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2012, Article ID 173637, 19 pages
Research Article

SPES3 Facility RELAP5 Sensitivity Analyses on the Containment System for Design Review

1SIET S.p.A., UdP, Via Nino Bixio 27/c, 29121 Piacenza, Italy
2ENEA, UTFISSM, Via Martiri di Monte Sole 4, 40129 Bologna, Italy
3FER, University of Zagreb, Unska 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
4Research and Technology Unit, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, Cranberry Township, PA 16066, USA

Received 11 March 2011; Accepted 27 July 2011

Academic Editor: Alessandro Del Nevo

Copyright © 2012 Andrea Achilli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An Italian MSE R&D programme on Nuclear Fission is funding, through ENEA, the design and testing of SPES3 facility at SIET, for IRIS reactor simulation. IRIS is a modular, medium size, advanced, integral PWR, developed by an international consortium of utilities, industries, research centres and universities. SPES3 simulates the primary, secondary and containment systems of IRIS, with 1:100 volume scale, full elevation and prototypical thermal-hydraulic conditions. The RELAP5 code was extensively used in support to the design of the facility to identify criticalities and weak points in the reactor simulation. FER, at Zagreb University, performed the IRIS reactor analyses with the RELAP5 and GOTHIC coupled codes. The comparison between IRIS and SPES3 simulation results led to a simulation-design feedback process with step-by-step modifications of the facility design, up to the final configuration. For this, a series of sensitivity cases was run to investigate specific aspects affecting the trend of the main parameters of the plant, as the containment pressure and EHRS removed power, to limit fuel clad temperature excursions during accidental transients. This paper summarizes the sensitivity analyses on the containment system that allowed to review the SPES3 facility design and confirm its capability to appropriately simulate the IRIS plant.