By: Matthew Walter
As part of the general design criteria for nuclear power plants, the primary structures and systems of the plant must be designed to handle postulated accident events, including the dynamic effects of postulated pipe ruptures. For a Boiling Water Reactor, analyzed events include various accident conditions in the recirculation piping, including a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA). One postulated LOCA event is assumed to be an instantaneous double-ended guillotine break of the recirculation line. This event causes several loads to be imparted on the reactor vessel, attached piping, and reactor internal components. [Some loads such as jet impingement, annulus pressurization, and pipe whip impart loads on the outside of the reactor vessel and the attached piping.][ Other loads, including flow-induced drag and acoustic loads, transmit loads inside the vessel on critical components such as jet pumps, core shroud, and the shroud support structure.] Figure 1 shows the pipe and resulting loads.