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DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.1995.RadTransfProc.440

Christophe Journeau
C.E.A. (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique), DER/SERA Projet VULCANO, Centre d'Etudes de Cadarache, 13108 St Paul les Durance Cedex, France

Claude Jegou
CEA-DRN-DER- Cadarache - France

Gerard Cognet
Laboratoire d'Energetique et de Mecanique Theorique et Applique, U.A. CNRS Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, NANCY, France


The French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) is conducting the VULCANO program to analyze the behavior of the melted core of a Pressurized Water Reactor in the unlikely event of a severe accident. The melted core and the melted reactor vessel structure form a mixture, named corium, of uranium dioxide, zirconia, zirconium and steel which can reach temperatures as high as 3000°C. We heat a corium-representative mixture above its melting point and study it while it cools down. In order to measure the surface temperature, a system combining a trichromatic pyrometer and a short-wavelength infrared thermography system is used. Since the camera is designed to measure blackbody surface temperature below 1360°C we use window glass as a filter and recalibrate the table of correspondences between the system isothermal units and temperatures. High temperature experiments have been conducted to demonstrate the feasibility of this technique. Firstly, the use of window glass as a filter is established with measurements of high temperature zirconia. Then the technique to crosscalibrate a posteriori the thermography camera images, using data from a bichromatic pyrometer measuring the gray body temperature of a small area of the melt, is described. A practical procedure is finally proposed to measure surface temperatures in the 2000−3000°C range.

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