In nuclear power plants, fuel-coolant interaction (FCI) often accompanied with core melt accidents, which may escalate to steam explosion destroying the integrity of structural components and even the containment under certain conditions. In the present study, a new facility for intermediate-scaled experiments named ‘Test for Interaction of MELt with Coolant’ (TIMELCO) has been set up to study FCI phenomena and thermal-hydraulic influence factors in metal or metallic oxide/water mixtures with melt at maximum 2750°C. The first series of tests was performed using 3kg of Sn which was heated to 800°Cand jetted into a column of 1m water depth (300mm in diameter) under 0.1MPa ambient pressure. The main changing parameter was water temperature, at 60 °C and 72 °C respectively. From the high-speed video camera, violent explosion phenomenon occurred at water temperature of 60°C, while no evident explosion observed at 72°C. The size of melt debris at 60°C is smaller than this at 72°C.On the contrary, the dynamic pressure at 60°C is larger. The results indicate that water temperature has an important effect on FCI and decreasing the temperature of the coolant is advantageous to the explosion.

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