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  Institute for Reactor Safety and Reactor Technology (Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Hans-Josef Allelein)

CORESA - Corium on Refractory and Sacrificial Material

The CORESA-Project is based on experiences and results gained from the EU - COMAS - Project and continues it. The major role in controlling core meltdown accidents is safeguarding the containment integrity. Measures have to be taken to prevent the melt from penetrating the concrete foundations. Therefore, the Franco-German EPR-Project (European Pressurized Water Reactor) is designing a core-catcher system with the main purpose of spreading the melt and flooding it passively with water.
To increase the system's efficiency, the melt is collected in the reactor pit to spreading. The walls and the spreading area are covered with several layers of refractory and sacrificial material. CORESA aims at covering, as quantitatively as possible, the physical and chemical phenomena, which occur during the interaction between molten corium and the catcher surfaces. Thereby, the CORESA-Project is making an important contribution to verifying and evaluating the core-catcher systems of the EPR-Project. To analyze the behaviour of sacrificial and refractory layers, lab tests as well as large-scale experiments are carried out, both using representative corium/steel-melts. Special emphasis is given to the interactions between the corium-melt and sacrificial layers with regard to erosion speed and the mixing and separation of oxidic and metallic phases.

Aims of the Project CORESA:

Multi-Layer (refractory and sacrificial)


In order to analyse chemical interactions between prototype core melts and the refractory and sacrificial layers, experiments are carried out on different scales. Laboratory experiments in an induction furnace are performed by Siemens KWU. The main purpose of these experiments is to evaluate scale-independent and parameter-dependent effects in interactions between the employed materials. The larger scale experiments, carried out at Siempelkamp, aim at evaluating phenomena, which do not appear in laboratory experiments e.g. the stability of extended refractory layers under extreme thermal stress.

Project Partners in CORESA:

Participation of the LRST: