OECD Research Programme on Fuel-Coolant Interaction: Steam Explosion Resolution for Nuclear Applications (SERENA) – Final Report

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The Steam Explosion Resolution for Nuclear Applications (SERENA) programme stems from concerns expressed by the Senior Group of Experts on Nuclear Safety Research Facilities and Programmes (SESAR/FAP) about de-emphasis of fuel-coolant interaction (FCI) research all over the world, while uncertainties still exist on some aspects of FCI. A restricted exploratory meeting involving FCI and reactor safety experts was held subsequently to discuss remaining research needs and advise the Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) regarding future steps in this area. Resolved the apha-mode failure from the risk perspective, the most important steam explosion remaining safety issues are failure of the lower head and damage to the cavity, with potential consequences for containment integrity. The group recognised that these issues are still partly unresolved and recommended that an international co-ordinated and well-controlled research project be carried out under the auspices of the CSNI to address the following aspects: pursuit of key fundamental understanding, in particular for judging the resistance of real corium material to explosions, realisation of fully verified codes for the purpose, realisation of special-purpose, separate-effects tests and finally, carrying out well-defined confirmatory testing. This document represents the final report of that project.