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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2018, Article ID 8680406, 15 pages
Research Article

Strategy Evaluation for Cavity Flooding during an ESBO Initiated Severe Accident

1Fundamental Science on Nuclear Safety and Simulation Technology Laboratory, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin 150001, China
2China Nuclear Power Operation Technology Corporation LTD, Wuhan 430000, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Tenglong Cong; nc.ude.uebrh@gnoclt

Received 4 September 2017; Revised 19 November 2017; Accepted 1 January 2018; Published 1 February 2018

Academic Editor: Manmohan Pandey

Copyright © 2018 Nan Jiang 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.


Intentional depressurization and cavity flooding are two important measures in current severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs). An extreme scenario of an extended station blackout (ESBO), when electric power is unavailable for more than 24 hours, actually occurred in the Fukushima Daiichi accident and attracted lots of attention. In an ESBO, the containment spray cannot be activated for condensation, and, thus, cavity flooding will generate a large amount of steam, which, ironically, overpressurizes the containment to failure before the reactor vessel is melted through. Therefore, consideration of these conflicting issues and the ways in which plants operate is crucial for strengthening the strategies outlined in SAMGs. In this paper, the effects of intentional depressurization and cavity flooding in an ESBO for a representative 900 MW second-generation pressurized water reactor (PWR) are simulated with MAAP4 code. Diverse scenarios with different starting times of depressurization and water injection are also compared to summarize the positive and negative impacts for accident mitigation. The phenomena associated with creep ruptures, hydrogen combustion, corium stratification, and cavity boiling are also analyzed in detail to strengthen our understanding of severe accident mechanisms. The results point out the facility limitations of second-generation PWRs which can improve existing SAMGs.