Our research team, in collaboration with the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company (STPNOC), has solved the Generic Safety Issue (GSI) – 191, a problem resulting from a loss of coolant accident in a nuclear reactor, which can cause debris to be generated and potentially impact the performance of the safety system.
We have provided a solution to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the GSI-191 regarding the generation of debris during a loss of coolant accident and the potential consequences to the emergency system performance. The methodology that we have developed will allow this safety issue to be addressed in light water reactors (LWR) across the country and is the first to be approved by the NRC (license amendment was issued by the NRC in July 2017 and can be found on the NRC website)
To solve this problem, STPNOC partnered with us to develop a widely applicable methodology, approved by the NRC, that can be applied to theoretically any operating LWR plant across the country. The methodology provides guidance on evaluating the safety level of the plant against the GSI-191, accounting for similarities and variable differences between plants.
We have developed innovative solutions to perform thermal-hydraulic simulations of the reactor system and containment for over 100 possible scenarios. In addition, experimental tests have been performed to study the sump strainer performances, conventional and chemical head loss (upstream effects), and debris bypass (downstream effects).