Mitchell Farmer, Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne
Light Water Reactor Severe Accident Analysis and Experimentation at Argonne Related to the Nuclear Incident in Japan
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium - 3 Jun 2011
11:00 AM, Building 203 auditorium

The recent earthquake and Tsunami in Japan initiated severe accidents at several of the reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. These accidents have led to a resurgence of interest in Light Water Reactor (LWR) severe accident phenomenology. Following the accident at the Three Mile Island (TMI) reactor in 1979, U.S. industry and the NRC launched a multi-decade R&D program that focused on: i) gaining a basic understanding of the phenomenology associated with LWR severe accident progression, and ii) using that understanding to develop Severe Accident Management guidelines for operating reactors. A significant amount of that research was carried out here at Argonne, and this research is still ongoing today. This presentation will provide an historical overview of this research, and also discuss some of the basic physics involved with severe accidents, as well as phenomenological models that have been developed to describe the progression. The presentation will also include a general discussion about the application of the LWR severe accident knowledge base to events at Fukushima.

Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule