NuFuel & MMSNF 2015

First Workshop on Research into Nuclear Fuel in Europe
and Materials Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Fuels Workshop
Karlsruhe, Germany, November 16th to 18th, 2015

Updated: Tue 08 Dec 2015, 14:27

Poster 4.1: Experimental investigation and thermodynamic modelling of the in-vessel corium for severe accident studies in PWR reactors

Andrea Quaini1, Christine Guéneau1, Stéphane Gossé1, Thierry Alpettaz1, Eric Lizon A Lugrin1, Emmanuelle Brackx2, Dario Manara3, Fiqiri Hodaj4,5
  • 1: CEA, DEN, DPC/SCCME, Centre de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 2: CEA, DEN/DTEC/SGCS, Centre de Marcoule, 30207 Bagnols-sur-Cèze, France
  • 3: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P.O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
  • 4: Univ. Grenoble Alpes, SIMAP, F–38000 Grenoble, France
  • 5: CNRS, Grenoble INP, SIMAP, F–38000 Grenoble, France


During a severe accident in a PWR reactor, the oxide nuclear fuel (UO2 or MOX) reacts at high temperature with the zirconium alloy clad and the steel vessel to form a partially or fully molten mixture so-called “in-vessel corium”. In such a case, the corium forms a pool in the bottom of the vessel, constituted of two liquid phases, metallic and oxide. The formation of such a configuration of the corium pool is due to the existence of a miscibility gap in the liquid state. The fractions and compositions of these liquid phases have to be well known in order to model the thermal hydraulic properties of the pool. The aim of the present work is to investigate experimentally the thermodynamic properties of the U-Zr-O-Fe system representative for the in-vessel corium to improve the thermodynamic modelling using the Calphad method. Laser heating techniques as well as heat treatments are used to measure solid/liquid transition temperatures and to highlight the miscibility gap in the liquid state. Experimental data are used to assess the thermodynamic properties of this key system. Both experimental and theoretical results will be presented.