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Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

Strength evaluation of a steam distribution device in the


Ignalina NPP accident localisation system
Gintautas Dundulis a, , Renatas Karalevicius a , Sigitas Rimkevicius a ,
Ronald F. Kulak b , Algirdas H. Marchertas c
a

Laboratory of Nuclear Installation Safety, Lithuanian Energy Institute, 3 Breslaujos,


44403 Kaunas 35, Lithuania
b RFK Engineering Mechanics Consultants, USA
c Northern Illinois University, USA

Received 25 January 2005; received in revised form 2 August 2005; accepted 4 August 2005

Abstract
The Ignalina NPP has a pressure suppression type of confinement, which is referred to as the accident localization system
(ALS). The ALS prevents the release of the radioactive material from the NPP to the environment during a loss-of-coolant
accident (LOCA). Ten water pools are located in the two ALS towers (five pools in each tower), which separate the dry well from
the wet well. These water pools condense the accident-generated steam and prevent high overpressures in the compartments.
The steam distribution device (SDD), with the vertical vent pipes (nozzles) that are inserted under the water of the condensing
pools, connects the dry well and the wet well. In case of an accident, these components must be capable of withstanding the
dynamic loads generated by a LOCA for successful pressure suppression function.
This paper presents the transient analysis of the SDD and their connections to the vertical steam corridors following a LOCA.
A thermo-hydraulic analysis of the SDD was performed using the state-of-the-art COCOSYS code to determine pressure and
temperature histories resulting from a LOCA. The finite element code NEPTUNE was used to evaluate the structural integrity of
the SDD and its supporting reinforced concrete wall. Results show that, although portions of the SDD undergo plastic response
and the outside surface of the vertical steam corridor reinforced concrete wall cracks, the structural integrity of the SDD and
wall are maintained during a LOCA.
2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Abbreviations: ALS, accident localization system; BRU-B, valve for steam discharge to ALS tower (Russian abbreviation); BSRC, bottom
steam reception chamber; CTCS, condenser tray cooling circuit; ECCS, emergency core cooling system; GDH, group distribution header; HCC,
hot condensate chamber; LOCA, loss-of-coolant accident; MCC, main circulation circuit; MDBA, maximum design basis accident; MSV, main
safety valve; NPP, nuclear power plant; RBMK, Russian acronym for channelized large power reactor; SDD, steam distribution device; SDH,
steam distribution header; VATESI, Lithuanian state atomic energy safety inspection
Corresponding author. Tel.: +370 37 401918; fax: +370 37 351271.
E-mail address: gintas@mail.lei.lt (G. Dundulis).
0029-5493/$ see front matter 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2005.08.001
NED-4318;

No. of Pages 10

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

Nomenclature
A
F1
F2
m
vw

flow area (m2 )


pressure (force per unit area of flow) (Pa)
pool swell pressure acting on the SDH
(Pa)
mass flow through the pipe (kg/s)
vertical velocity of the condensing pool
water surface (m/s)

Greek letters
p
atmosphere density inside the pipe
(kg/m3 )
w
condensing pool water density (kg/m3 )

1. Introduction
The nuclear reactors of the Ignalina NPP are
RBMK-1500 type reactors. These reactors do not
possess the conventional Western style containment.
Instead, the Ignalina NPP has a pressure suppression
type of confinement, which is referred to as the acci-

dent localization system (ALS). The ALS prevents the


release of the radioactive material from the NPP to
the environment during a loss-of-coolant accident. The
ALS consists of a number of interconnected compartments. The schematic view of the Ignalina NPP ALS
and the location of the main components of the main
circulation circuit (MCC) are presented in Fig. 1. Ten
water pools are located in the two ALS towers (five
pools in each tower) that separate the dry well from the
wet well. These pools condense the accident-generated
steam and prevent high overpressures in the compartments. There is another unique feature of the Ignalina
NPP ALS, the uncontaminated air that fills the ALS
compartments during normal operation is vented to the
environment in the initial stage of an accident. This
helps to reduce overpressures in the compartments.
After the clean air has been vented from the compartments, the ALS is isolated from the environment
and radioactive material does not escape to the environment. A more detailed description of the Ignalina
NPP and the accident localization system is presented
in (Almenas et al., 1998).
The steam distribution devices with the vertical vent
pipes, which are inserted under the water of condens-

Fig. 1. The scheme of Ignalina NPP ALS and location of main components of MCC: (1) fuel channel, (2) main circulation pumps, (3) suction
header, (4) pressure header, (5) GDH, (6) ECCS headers, (7) hot condensate chamber, (8) CTCS pumps and heat, (9) discharge pipes section,
(10) pipes from MSV and BRU-B, (11) pipes from reactor cavity, (12) condensing pools, (13) steam distribution headers, (14) BSRC sprays,
(15) water seals between HCC and BSRC, (16) BSRC vacuum breakers, (17) air removal corridor sprays, (18) air venting channel, (19) gas
delay chamber tank, (20) gas delay chamber, (21) reinforced compartments, (22) down hatches, (27) MSV and BRU-B, (28) drum separators,
(29) BSRC, and (30) reactor.

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

ing pools, connect the dry well and the wet well. These
components should be capable of withstanding the
dynamic loads for successful pressure suppression in
case of an accident. The Lithuanian nuclear regulator, VATESI, recommended performing this analysis in
order to verify that the design and strength of the SDD
and their connections to the vertical steam corridors are
sufficient to withstand the thermal and dynamic pressure loading in case of a LOCA. To determine pressure
and temperature loadings, the calculations were performed employing the state-of-the art computer code
COCOSYS (COCOSYS, 2001).
The structural integrity analysis was performed for
the SDD in the first condensing pool using the dynamic
loading results (temperature and pressure histories)
from the thermo-hydraulic analysis. The NEPTUNE
(Kulak and Fiala, 1988) computer code was used for
the transient structural analysis. The code is based upon
the central difference explicit integrator. Thus, the code
does not employ stiffness or flexibility matrices but
is based upon a nonlinear internal nodal force vector.
This approach is ideal for transient, nonlinear analyses in which metals are deforming in an elastoplastic
mode, concrete is cracking/crushing and contact impact
is taking place. When individual elements reach a failed
state, their contributions to the internal nodal force vector is reduced to zero and there is no change required
to the solution algorithm. Validation of the NEPTUNE

computer code for pipe whip analysis was presented


by Kulak and Narvydas (2001).

2. Data for the SDD strength evaluation


2.1. Geometrical data and nite element
modelling
A SDD consists of 2, 3 or 4 (pertains to length)
prefabricated elements. The construction of one prefabricated element and cross-section of a SDD is presented
in Fig. 2. The main parts of the SDD are the steam distribution header (SDH) and vertical steam nozzles. The
SDH is a horizontal cylinder with an outside diameter
of 806 mm and a wall thickness of 3 mm. The length
of the SDH is different for the different condensing
pools: 19 900 mm for condensing pools 14; 9950 mm
for the short SDD in condensing pool 1; 8500 mm for
condensing pool 5. There are several different designs
used to support the SDHs used in the Ignalina NPP.
For the design analyzed below, one end of the SDH is
rigidly attached to the reinforced concrete wall of the
vertical steam corridor. The other end is supported by
the opposite reinforced concrete wall; however, this end
is allowed to slide in and out of that wall to compensate for thermal expansion. The concrete wall contains
four layers of rebars. In addition, there are two truss-

Fig. 2. General view of SDD.

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

like supports at two intermediate locations along the


length of the SDH. These supports are anchored to the
reinforced concrete floor of the compartment and connected to the supports of neighbouring SDHs.
The vertical steam nozzles are parallelepiped boxes.
The cross-section of this box is shown in Section
2.2 in Fig. 3. The dimensions are as follows: length
of 1000 mm, width of 50 mm, wall thickness of
3 mm, and heights of 1375 mm (condensation pools
14) and 2065 mm (condensation pool 5). The hood
around the vertical steam nozzle provides an air cushion. The cross-section dimensions of the hood are
1026 mm 82 mm. The nozzles are installed in pairs;
one on each of the lower sides of the SDH. The distance
between the nozzles in each pair is 600 mm (Fig. 2,
Section 1.1). The connection between the SDH and the
vertical steam nozzle is shown in Fig. 3, Section 3.3.
The vertical steam nozzle is separated into five channels by dividing walls. The thickness of a dividing wall
is 3 mm. The nozzles of a pair are connected to each
other by a connector located at the bottom of the nozzles (Fig. 2).
Four different types of the SDH are located in
the ALS, i.e., SDD 19 900 1600, SDD 9950 1600,

SDD 9950 2290 and SDD 8500 2100. The SDD


19 900 1600 model was used for the structural
integrity analysis reported here. The value 19 900 mm
refers to the length of the SDH, and the value 1600
refers to the height of overflow barrier of the condensing pool. The SDH (thin-wall pipe) of the SDD, the
vertical steam nozzles (thin-wall boxes), nozzle connectors and a portion of the vertical steam corridor wall
are included in the FE model. This model was prepared
using the ALGOR preprocessor (ALGOR, 2000). The
ALGOR/NEPTUNE interface program was previously
developed to transform all input variables (nodal coordinates as well as element properties) from ALGOR
input to NEPTUNE input.
Three types of finite elements were needed to model
the SDD and their supportsa metallic plate element,
a reinforced concrete element and a beam element.
The SDD was modeled using the four-node quadrilateral plate element (Belytschko et al., 1984) with
a metal plasticity material model. The formulation
of this element is based upon the Mindlin theory of
plates and uses a velocity strain formulation. The vertical steam corridor reinforced concrete wall was also
modeled using the four-node quadrilateral plate element but with a reinforced concrete material model
(Kulak and Fiala, 1988). The connectors between the
vertical steam nozzles were modeled using 3D beam
elements (Belytschko and Schwer, 1977). The beam
element is a two-node element that allows arbitrary
orientation in three-dimensional space. An additional
node is required to define the element orientation. It
is a general six (6) degree of freedom element (i.e.,
three global translation and rotational components at
each end of the member). The beam element provides
moment, torque and force information. The 3D beam
element is a three-dimensional uniform cross-section
element that can handle large deformations, can model
elasto-plastic material response and, thus, is suited for
the analysis of general beam-frame structures.
2.2. Material properties

Fig. 3. Cross-section of vertical steam nozzle with details of the


nozzle connection to the SDH.

Regarding material properties, the model to be analyzed is constructed from two materials: the SDH
pipelines and vertical steam nozzles are made from
12X18H10T steel and the compartment walls are made
from reinforced heavy concrete M300. The mechanical properties (Norms and Rules, 1984) of the con-

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

Table 1
Material properties of reinforced concrete
Material

Youngs modulus
(GPa)

Poissons ratio

Tensile strength
(MPa)

Compressive
strength (MPa)

Yield stress
(MPa)

Tensile strength
(MPa)

Concrete
Rebars

27
205

0.2
0.3

1.5
NA

17
NA

NA
392

NA
590

NA = not applicable.

crete and the reinforcement bars are summarized in


Table 1. Standard yield strength, ultimate strength, ultimate strain, area reduction and Youngs modulus of the
12X18H10T steel (Norms for the calculation, 1989) are
presented in Table 2.

2.4. Loads for SDD strength analysis


The state-of-the-art COCOSYS code was used for
thermo-hydraulic analysis of the SDD. The loads used
for the SDD strength analysis can be divided into internal and external loads.

2.3. Boundary conditions


Certain nodes of the model have translation and rotation restrains that take into account the effect of the surrounding structures. Translational boundary conditions
are designated by (T), rotational boundary conditions
by (R) and a full restraint is indicated by the symbol
(). One side of the SDH is rigidly attached to the vertical steam corridor reinforced concrete wall (item 2
in Fig. 4). A portion of the concrete wall is modelled,
and the boundary of this portion of the wall is fully
constrained, as noted by the symbol ().
The opposite side of SDD 19 900 1600 is supported by another concrete wall; however the SDD can
move in the y direction in this wall. This wall is not
explicitly modeled but is implicitly represented by the
boundary conditions at the end of the SDD that enforce
translation and rotation constraints in the x and z directions.
In addition to the supports at the ends, the SDD
is supported by two supports between the ends of the
SDH (item 5 in Fig. 4). For simplicity, these nodes were
assumed to be completely restrained.

2.4.1. SDD internal loads


The results of the thermalhydraulic analysis of
the maximum design basis accident (MDBA) are time
histories of pressure, temperature and mass flow rate
behaviour, as well as dynamic loading on the vertical
vent pipes of the SDD subject to this accident.
For the thermalhydraulic calculations, the SDD
headers were divided into three parts. The pressuretime histories in each of the three parts of the SDD
header are presented in Fig. 5. The differences between
the pressure histories in each of the three parts of the
SDD header and in the vertical vent pipes were small.
Because of this small difference, the pressure history

Table 2
Material properties of steel 12X18H10T
Characteristic

Ultimate strength (MPa)


Yield strength (MPa)
Ultimate strain (%)
Area reduction (%)
Youngs modulus (GPa)

Temperature ( C)
20

100

200

300

510
216
35
55
205

461
206
30
55
200

421
187
27
54
190

412
177
26
52
180

Fig. 4. Finite element model of the SDD 19 900 1600 and support
wall: (1) SDD pipe, (2) concrete support wall, (3) vertical vent pipes,
(4) longitudinal connectors, (5) SDD support constrains, and (6) cross
connectors.

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

The pressure F1 (force per unit area of flow) represents the loading of the vent pipe due to steam/gas
mixture flow. The loading to the vent pipe wall is calculated from Eq. (1). This loading was calculated for
all three types of SDDs installed in Ignalina NPP ALS:
F1 =

Fig. 5. Pressuretime histories in the SDD 19 900 1600 header


during the MDBA.

for Col 1-3 (Fig. 5) was chosen to be the pressure in


the entire length of the SDD header.
2.4.2. SDD external loads
For the SDD loading analysis there are two outer
forces that act on different parts of the SDD. All these
forces are schematically presented in Fig. 6. It should
be noted that these are the forces of fluid impact on
the SDD structures and should not be confused with
the pressure loading, which is described in the previous section (internal loads). The calculated loading is
presented in Pascals (force per unit area) in order to
avoid the dependency on the number of SDD simulated by single node in the thermalhydraulic model.
The pressure loading (Pa) may be converted to force
(Newtons) by multiplying the pressure loading by the
affected area.

Fig. 6. External loads applied to the SDD.

m2
(Pa)
p A2

(1)

The equation for F1 is derived from the formula provided in (ANSI/ANS-58.2-1988) by assuming
p 0. Such an assumption is reasonable because the
steam/gas mixture is discharged under the water and the
water column compensates the pressure difference in
the vent pipe and the gas space above the water layer
in the pool. The results of the dynamic loading, force
F1 , of the vertical vent pipes due to steam/gas mixture
flow are presented in Fig. 7.
The loading applied to the SDDs due to pool swell,
which is briefly described in Section 1, is defined as
F2 . It represents the specific pressure of water impact
on the SDD header. This loading appears only in the
case when the pool swell phenomenon occurs and the
water surface level reaches the SDD headers. This is a
short-term loading, but may be important due to large
mass of the water lifted. This pressure is calculated by
Eq. (2):
F2 = w v2w (Pa)

(2)

The results of the dynamic loading, force F2 , to the


SDH due to pool swell are presented in Fig. 7.

Fig. 7. Dynamic loading on the end vertical vent pipes (force F1 )


due to steam/gas mixture flow and on the SDH (force F2 ) due to pool
swelling.

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

3. FE analysis results
The aim of the structural integrity analysis of the
SDD subjected to a MDBA was to evaluate the following:
structural integrity of the SDD header;
structural integrity of the SDD supporting wall;
structural integrity of the connection between the
SDD header and the vertical vent pipes.

Fig. 8. Pressure history applied to the SDD supporting wall during


a MDBA.

2.4.3. SDD supporting wall pressure load


For structural integrity assessment of the SDD it is
very important to know the pressure loading on this
wall during maximum design basis accident (MDBA).
The results for pressure loading on the SDD supporting
wall resulting from a MDBA are presented in Fig. 8.
2.4.4. SDD thermal loads
For structural integrity assessment of the SDD it is
important to know the thermal loading on the pipe of the
SDH, vertical vent pipes and supporting wall of SDH
during MDBA. The temperaturetime histories in each
of the three parts of the SDD header are presented in
Fig. 9. The temperaturetime histories in the vertical
vent pipes and at the inside surface of the SDD concrete
supporting wall were also evaluated.

Fig. 9. Temperatures histories in the SDD header during a MDBA.

Stress analysis results are presented as stress snapshots at the time step of maximum stress. The von
Mises stresses in the SDD header near the connection
of the SDD to the concrete support wall are presented in
Fig. 10. The stresses had a maximum value of 236 MPa.
The displacement field of the SDD resulting from
a MDBA are presented in Fig. 11. The maximum
displacement was located in the connection of the
SDD header pipe and wall with a maximum value of
13.73 mm.
To show more detail, the stress analysis results are
presented as stresstime curves in the elements adjacent to the connection of the SDD header and the
supporting wall. The temporal variation of the normal
and shear stresses are presented in Fig. 12. It is seen
that the normal stress, xx , is the largest with a maximum value of 242 MPa at 2.00 s. The other stresses are
smaller. It was determined that the pipe material yield
limit (177 MPa) was exceeded at this location of the

Fig. 10. von Misses stress (Pa) distribution in the SDD 19 900
1600 near the connection of the header to the support wall.

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

Fig. 11. Displacement (m) field of the SDD 19 900 1600.

SDD header pipe. The strength limit (412 MPa) was


not exceeded in the SDD pipes.
The results for the supporting wall are shown in
Figs. 13 and 14. The maximum stress in the concrete
of the SDD supporting wall was 1.0 MPa (layer 1,
explanation of layers is presented below). The displacement distribution in SDD support wall in case MDBA
are presented in Fig. 14. The maximum displacements
were located in the upper part of the SDD header pipe
connection with a maximum value of 0.12 mm.
The variation of normal stress, xx , in the SDD
header supporting wall concrete element adjacent to
connection of SDD header and supporting wall is presented in Fig. 15. NEPTUNE calculates stresses at
the center of the element for five integration points
through the thickness (layers) for the quadrilateral plate

Fig. 12. Normal and shear stress histories in the SDD 19 900 1600
adjacent to the connection of the SDH and vertical vent pipes.

Fig. 13. Distribution of normal stresses (Pa) in the SDD 19 900


1600 header support wall (layer 1 concrete surface).

concrete element. The normal stress xx results were


obtained at all integration points. It was determined
that the normal stress, xx , for tension in the fifth integration point is the largest with a value of 1.74 MPa.

Fig. 14. Displacement (m) field in the SDD 19 900 1600 headersupport wall.

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

Fig. 15. Temporal evolution of normal stresses in the concrete adjacent to the connection of the SDH and support wall.

The normal stress, xx , for compression in the first integration point (layer 1) is the largest with a value of
1.21 MPa. The concrete limit for tension is 1.5 MPa
and for compression it is 17 MPa. It was determined
that the concrete limit for tension was exceeded at
the fifth integration point, but the limit for compression was not exceeded. This indicates that the limit in
tension is reached and the concrete cracking begins;
tensile failure occurred only at one of the integration
points.
The temporal variation of the axial stress, xx , in the
reinforcing bars in the SDD header support wall adjacent to the connection of the SDD header to the support
wall are presented in Fig. 16. Four layers of rebars are
used in the quadrilateral plate element to represent the
four layers of rebars in the reinforced concrete wall. It
is seen that the axial stress in the first rebar layer, which

Fig. 16. Temporal evolution of axial stresses in the reinforcement


bars adjacent to the connection of the SDH and support wall.

is the layer on the inside of the condensing pool, is the


largest and has a maximum value of 17.2 MPa. Thus,
the rebar yield limit of 392 MPa was not exceeded.
In summary, the maximum calculated stress of
242 MPa in SDD header is above the yield stress value
of 177 MPa but below the material strength limit of
412 MPa. The peak stress in the SDD concrete support wall was 1.74 MPa, and the reinforcing bars had
a maximum stress of 17.2 MPa. In the outside layer
of the condensing pool wall, the concrete limit for
tension (1.5 MPa) was exceeded. The concrete limit
for compression (17 MPa), and the rebar yield limit
(392 MPa) were not exceeded. This means that the
structural integrity of SDD header, SDD vertical vent
pipes and SDD supporting wall will be maintained, i.e.,
no failure will occur from MDBA loading.

4. Summary and conclusions


The maximum design basis accident (the rupture of
the main circulation pump pressure header) was chosen
to evaluate the loading to the SDD located in condensing pools 1 of the Ignalina NPP. Numerical models for
the thermalhydraulic analysis of the ALS compartments were developed. The state-of-the art computer
code COCOSYS was used for the thermalhydraulic
analysis.
Finite element models were prepared for the structural analysis of the SDD. The structural integrity analysis was performed for the SDD 19 900 1600 using
the NEPTUNE code. The pressure, dynamic loading
and temperature histories obtained from the thermohydraulic analysis were used as loadings for the structural analysis. A structural integrity analysis of (1) the
SDD 19 900 1600, (2) the connection between the
SDD header and the vertical nozzles, and (3) the SDD
concrete support wall subjected to a MDBA was performed.
The following conclusions were obtained from the
completed analysis:
Maximum calculated stress levels in the SDD
19 900 1600 header near the SDD 19 900 1600
support wall are below the material strength limit
although stresses did exceed the yield stress limit.
The stresses in the concrete of the SDD 19 900
1600 supporting wall are above the material strength

10

G. Dundulis et al. / Nuclear Engineering and Design xxx (2005) xxxxxx

limit for tension in the outside layer but below the


material strength limit for compression in the inside
layers. This indicates that the limit in tension is
reached and the concrete cracks but only at the outside surface of this wall; a through crack does not
occur.
The stresses in the reinforcement bars of the SDD
19 900 1600 supporting wall are below the rebar
yield stress limit.
The analysis shows that the structural integrity of
the SDD will be maintained and the SDD will be capable of performing its intended function; the structural
integrity of the connection between the SDD header and
the vertical vent pipes will be maintained; and the SDD
supporting reinforced concrete wall will also maintain
its structural integrity. Thus, no structural failure will
occur from MDBA loading.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to acknowledge the support
and access to the latest NEPTUNE code provided by
the US Department of Energy and Argonne National
Laboratory. The authors also want to express gratitude
to the administration and technical staff at the Ignalina
NPP for providing information regarding operational

procedures and operational data. The U.S. Government


makes no endorsement of the results of this work.
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