Analysis of AP1000 radioactive material release accidents with MELCOR Accident Consequence Code System (MACCS)

Grzegorz Niewinski, Michał Stępień, Karol Góral


The probable introduction in the medium term of nuclear energy into the Polish national power system has become a source of anxiety in society. While Poland already has a research nuclear reactor (acronym: MARIA) at the National Center for Nuclear Research in Świerk, near Warsaw, issues regarding safety and the possible consequences of an accident in the first baseload nuclear power plant have triggered public debate. As part of the licensing process of any newly designed reactor, scenarios for a range of accidents at the plant together with their consequences must be modeled, analyzed and presented in the licensing documentation. In this context a model was built based on a complex set of data—including data provided by the reactor manufacturer, location and environmental data, weather conditions and possible accident scenarios—to perform simulations with a computational tool called MELCOR Accident Consequence Code System (MACCS). MACCS is used to perform accident-related calculations, including release of radioactive material to the atmosphere and short and long-term consequences. The analysis involved releases of radioactive material from an AP1000 nuclear reactor assumed to be located on the Polish seacoast and demonstrates that the lethality and incidence of cancer caused by radioactive release are significantly lower than natural.


MACCS; MELCOR; nuclear reactor; nuclear accident; release of radioactive materials; radioactivity; Gauss plume model

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