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PKL-3 began in 2012 and investigated safety issues relevant for current PWR plants as well as for new PWR design concepts by means of transient tests under postulated accident scenarios and systematic parameter studies on thermal hydraulic phenomena.
The first category included tests that addressed safety issues related to beyond design basis accident transients with significant core heat-up, i.e. station blackout scenarios or LOCAs in connection with the failure of safety systems. Without adequate accident management (AM) procedures, the postulated course of events would lead to a severe accident scenario with core damage. In the tests, the efficiency of very late initiated AM measures were established so that the safety margins could be explored. Both scenarios were connected with a performance assessment of the core exit temperature (CET) which is normally used as criterion for the initiation of AM measures involving emergency operating procedures and/or severe accident management measures.
With respect to current safety issues, events in cold shut down state (i.e. failure of residual heat removal (RHRS)) were also covered by the PKL-3 test phase. Findings from the first two phases on thermal hydraulic phenomena (e.g. pressure evolution following failure of RHRS, boron dilution) were compared to the transients test conducted with an open RCS.
The second category of tests addressed some issues investigated in the previous PKL phases that could not be completed. Parameter variations from tests conducted in PKL-2 were implemented in PKL-3, either to provide an extension to already existing databases on cool down procedures under asymmetric natural circulation, or to determine the sensitivity of boron precipitation in the core following LB-LOCA for specific parameters. As with previous phases, complementary tests at ROCOM, PMK and PWR PACTEL facilities were also considered for phase three..
In 2015, two meetings were held and in November, final tests were completed. A counterpart test was performed to compare with a test conducted at the ROSA facility in Japan. The ATLAS Project also considered reproducing a PKL-3 test for comparison.
With all tests completed, the operating agent, Framatome GmbH, conducted analysis of the results and produced the final report in July 2016. Project participants and Framatome GmbH completed discussions on a follow-up phase to cover gaps in knowledge. There was a benchmark workshop with two PKL-3 benchmarks outcomes in collaboration with an ATLAS Project benchmark activity in Pisa on 13-16 April 2016.
Participating countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.
Project period: April 2012 to April 2016.
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For more detailed information visit https://www.oecd-nea.org/jcms/pl_25236/primary-coolant-loop-test-facility-pkl-project
Keywords: accidents, cold shut-down, failures, pwr reactors, residual heat removal.