CFD evaluation of hydrogen risk mitigation measures in a VVER-440/213 containment

Matthias Heitsch (Corresponding Author), Risto Huhtanen, Zsolt Techy, Chris Fry, Pal Kostka, Jarto Niemi, Berthold Schramm

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    In the PHARE project “Hydrogen Management for the VVER440/213” (HU2002/000-632-04-01), CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) calculations using GASFLOW, FLUENT and CFX were performed for the Paks NPP (Nuclear Power Plant), modelling a defined severe accident scenario which involves the release of hydrogen. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate that CFD codes can be used to model gas movement inside a containment during a severe accident. With growing experience in performing such analyses, the results encourage the use of CFD in assessing the risk of losing containment integrity as a result of hydrogen deflagrations. As an effective mitigation measure in such a situation, the implementation of catalytic recombiners is planned in the Paks NPP. In order to support these plans both unmitigated and recombiner-mitigated simulations were performed. These are described and selected results are compared. The codes CFX and FLUENT needed refinement to their models of wall and bulk steam condensation in order to be able to fully simulate the severe accident under consideration. Several CFD codes were used in parallel to model the same accident scenario in order to reduce uncertainties in the results. Previously it was considered impractical to use CFD codes to simulate a full containment subject to a severe accident extending over many hours. This was because of the expected prohibitive computing times and missing physical capabilities of the codes. This work demonstrates that, because of developments in the capabilities of CFD codes and improvements in computer power, these calculations have now become feasible.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)385-396
    Number of pages12
    JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    Event12th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, NURETH-12 - Pittsburgh, United States
    Duration: 30 Sept 20073 Oct 2007


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