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Miroslav Gregoric


From: GREGORIC, Miroslav Sent: Tuesday,22 March 2011 14:42 To: IEC3 - INCIDENT & EMERGENCY CENTRE Cc: FLORY, Denis; ANDREW, Graham; NILSSON, Anita Birgitta; LYONS, James E.; SUZUKI, Satoshi; MRABIT, Khammar; YLLERA, Javier; LIPAR, Miroslav; CARUSO, Gustavo; HAHN, Pil-Soo; CZARWINSKI, Renate; VINCZE, Pal; BUGLOVA, Elena; MARTINCIC, Rafael; Kryuchenkov,Vladimir (V.Kryucbenkov(aiaea.org); COLGAN, Peter; COLGAN, Tony; DUSIC, Milorad; WINTER, Denis Jacques Subject: Core melt at Fukushima Unit 1 from 11 to 12 March 2011 JST ***NOT for distribution*** Importance: High

Dear colleagues Please find attached calculations for Fukusbima Daiichi Unit 1 core melt from basic principles. Of course with your input the calculations could be improved. Best regards Miro

DK 1888 of 1892

Total Core-melt of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 on 11 or 12 March 2011

Basic hand held calculations by Miroslav Gregoric, checked by Vladimir Kryuchenkov on 22 March 2011. (Note: The excel sheet is attached. Of course the modelling by MELCOR or other severe accident codes will give better results, but one cannot go against basic heat equations.) Basic assumptions based on known reported data from TEPCO and NISA 1) At the earthquake, reactor scrammed from 1380 MWth on I I March at 14:46 SJT, and after station blackout, main steam isolation valves closed. Reactor was cooled by injecting condensate water to Reactor Pressure Vessel via diesel operated pump (via steam turbine - not confirmed), and by releasing steam to containment suppression pool -wetwell. This went on almost an hour, when at 15:42 tsunami flooded both diesels and many electrical distributing equipment and washed away or damaged condensate storage tanks. Yet NISA reported that water injection continued for almost additional hour until 16:36 when water injection failed. By that time 198000 MJ of the residual heat was generated. In order to cool the core also the accumulated heat in the core needed to be taken away, but that was small compared to decay heat. Assumption is that all this heat was successfully discharged to the wetwell, acting as the only hit sink, where the temperature and pressure increased. At least 79 tons of condensate water was needed to be injected and boil off to take the heat away. No measured pressures are available for this period. 2) After loss of water injection on 11 March at 16:36 there was no water flow to reactor for almost 28 hours, up to 12 March at 20:20 when sea water injection was established via fire pumps to reactor. During this time 1000000 MJ (one million Mega Joule) of the residual heat was generated. In order to cool the core at least 412 tons of water should be boiled off in the core, but this was not available. The core dried and overheated. If average heat capacity of the core is 0.3 ki/kg/degC, and if fuel in the core and core internals mass is 140 tons then it takes only about 42 MJ to heat the core for one degree Celsius. To melt the core it should be heated first to the melting point(s) and then the melting (phase transition) will consume additional 260 kJ/kg or 62000 MJ in total. The residual heat generated in this period is much higher (ten times or more) than needed for heating up to melting points and for melting. The available heat could heat up the core far above the melting points. The only cooling during this time was heat irradiation to the reactor pressure vessel from the outer layers of fuel elements. On the 12 March at 0:49 (or 8 hr 13 minutes after loss of water injection) un unusual increase of PCV pressure was detected (drywell). At that point the residual heat generated after loss of water injection was 390000 MJ, which would need additional 156 tons of water to boil off, which was not available and the core heated up above melting point. Before core melting Zirconium in the fuel cladding starts oxidising and adding chemical reaction heat. This added additional heat and also a lot of hydrogen, causing sudden increase of pressure in reactor pressure vessel, discharging hydrogen through the relieve valves to the wetwell. We can assume that once the Zirconium started to oxidise, very soon all fuel rods have broken to release all noble gasses and volatiles like Iodine and Cesium into the reactor. Some of the iodine and Cesium could be trapped in the wetwell water, but not the noble gases. All of the above points to a conclusion that a substantial core melt in reactor unit 1 has happened starting in the night from 11 to 12 March and going on up to the start of injection of sea water on 12 Mach at 20:20. It is possible that the vessel has melted through already before increase in PCV pressure on 12 March at 0:49 hours, 8 hr 13 minutes of no cooling, and molten core has penetrated the drywell as no water was there.


DK 1889 of 1892

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3. Venting of the containment started on 12 March at 14:30, releasing mixture of water vapour, hydrogen, most of noble gases in the core, Iodine, Cesium and all other volatile radionuclides. Release point was not given, stack release was probably not successful as in less an hour later, at 15:36 a huge hydrogen explosion blasted the top of reactor building I sideways and upwards. The explosion must have damaged the operating floor where spent fuel pool is located, with the crane for spent fuel is located (and maybe the crane for the reactor vessel).

The wind was on 11 and 12 March blowing to the Pacific during the containment venting and explosion, so that all noble gases and volatile radionuclides of the first release were going towards ocean. However sharp peaks should be observed on the monitoring stations inland, 3 km to the west, mainly reading the cloud shine (to be checked with actual data).

DK 1890 of 1892