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DOE - Fundamentals Handbook - Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow - Vol 2 of 3

DOE - Fundamentals Handbook - Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow - Vol 2 of 3

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Published by: phmphn on Jul 23, 2009
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10/19/2011

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Reactor decay heat can be a major concern. In the worst case scenarios, it can cause melting of
and/or damage to the reactor core, as in the case of Three Mile Island. The degree of concern
with decay heat will vary according to reactor type and design. There is little concern about core
temperature due to decay heat for low power, pool-type reactors.

Rev. 0

Page 55

HT-02

DECAY HEAT

Heat Transfer

Each reactor will have some limits during shutdown that are based upon decay heat
considerations. These limits may vary because of steam generator pressure, core temperature,
or any other parameter that may be related to decay heat generation. Even during refueling
processes, heat removal from expended fuel rods is a controlling factor. For each limit
developed, there is usually some safety device or protective feature established.

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