Accident source terms for light-water nuclear power plants using high-burnup or MOX fuel.


Representative accident source terms patterned after the NUREG-1465 Source Term have been developed for high burnup fuel in BWRs and PWRs and for MOX fuel in a PWR with an ice-condenser containment. These source terms have been derived using nonparametric order statistics to develop distributions for the timing of radionuclide release during four accident phases and for release fractions of nine chemical classes of radionuclides as calculated with the MELCOR 1.8.5 accident analysis computer code. The accident phases are those defined in the NUREG-1465 Source Term - gap release, in-vessel release, ex-vessel release, and late in-vessel release. Important differences among the accident source terms derived here and the NUREG-1465 Source Term are not attributable to either fuel burnup or use of MOX fuel. Rather, differences among the source terms are due predominantly to improved understanding of the physics of core meltdown accidents. Heat losses from the degrading reactor core prolong the process of in-vessel release of radionuclides. Improved understanding of the chemistries of tellurium and cesium under reactor accidents changes the predicted behavior characteristics of these radioactive elements relative to what was assumed in the derivation of the NUREG-1465 Source Term. An additional radionuclide chemical class has been defined to account for release of cesium as cesium molybdate which enhances molybdenum release relative to other metallic fission products

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