Simulation of hydrogen deflagration and detonation in a BWR reactor building

Mikko Manninen, Ari Silde (Corresponding Author), Ilona Lindholm, Risto Huhtanen, Heikki Sjövall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A systematic study was carried out to investigate the hydrogen behaviour in a BWR reactor building during a severe accident. BWR core contains a large amount of Zircaloy and the containment is relatively small. Because containment leakage cannot be totally excluded, hydrogen can build up in the reactor building, where the atmosphere is normal air. The objective of the work was to investigate, whether hydrogen can form flammable and detonable mixtures in the reactor building, evaluate the possibility of onset of detonation and assess the pressure loads under detonation conditions. The safety concern is, whether the hydrogen in the reactor building can detonate and whether the external detonation can jeopardize the containment integrity. The analysis indicated that the possibility of flame acceleration and deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) in the reactor building could not be ruled out in case of a 20 mm2 leakage from the containment. The detonation analyses indicated that maximum pressure spike of about 7 MPa was observed in the reactor building room selected for the analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-50
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • boiling water reactors
  • pressurized water reactors
  • hydrogen
  • nuclear power plants
  • nuclear reactor safety
  • nuclear reactors
  • nuclear safety
  • reactor accidents

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