Safety Experiments in Reactors
Efficacy of most of the safety features that are incorporated in a particular reactor can be demonstrated in the reactor itself. Certain transient tests are to be conducted necessarily as a part of regulatory requirements. Apart from these, the reactors are used to generate data for validating numerical simulations of initiating events and severe accident scenarios. The performance of shutdown systems and decay heat removal systems has been assessed in almost all the test reactors, imposing certain pessimistic transients. Demonstration of performance of passive safety systems in the reactor is a very difficult exercise. Off-normal transient tests during operating tenure of the reactor are performed after careful planning and analysis. Severe transient tests simulating long station blackout conditions, for example, are conducted generally at the end-of-reactor life. These sorts of tests play a very important role in raising the confidence on the overall reactor safety among designers, regulators, and the public.