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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2015, Article ID 865829, 9 pages
Research Article

Normal and Accidental Scenarios Analyses with MELCOR 1.8.2 and MELCOR 2.1 for the DEMO Helium-Cooled Pebble Bed Blanket Concept

Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, 56126 Pisa, Italy

Received 21 September 2015; Accepted 6 December 2015

Academic Editor: Eugenijus Ušpuras

Copyright © 2015 Bruno Gonfiotti and Sandro Paci. 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.


As for Light Water Reactors (LWRs), one of the most challenging accidents for the future DEMOnstration power plant is the Loss of Coolant Accident, which can trigger the pressurization of the confinement structures and components. Hence, careful analyses have to be executed to demonstrate that the confinement barriers are able to withstand the pressure peak within design limits and the residual cooling capabilities of the Primary Heat Transfer System are sufficient to remove the decay heat. To do so, severe accident codes, as MELCOR, can be employed. In detail, the MELCOR code has been developed to cope also with fusion reactors, but unfortunately, these fusion versions are based on the old 1.8.x source code. On the contrary, for LWRs, the newest 2.1.x versions are continuously updated. Thanks to the new features introduced in these latest 2.1.x versions, the main phenomena occurring in the helium-cooled blanket concepts of DEMO can be simulated in a basic manner. For this purpose, several analyses during normal and accidental DEMO conditions have been executed. The aim of these analyses is to compare the results obtained with MELCOR 1.8.2 and MELCOR 2.1 in order to highlight the differences among the results of the main thermal-hydraulic parameters.