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Simulation of Gas Stratification Build-Up in the Containment Under Severe Accident Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
Michele Andreani

Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen, Switzerland

Paper No. ICONE22-31141, pp. V02BT09A053; 10 pages
  • 2014 22nd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 2B: Thermal Hydraulics
  • Prague, Czech Republic, July 7–11, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4591-2
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The presence of hydrogen stratification in a NPP containment in the case of a severe accident is a source of concern, as pockets of the gas in high concentration could lead to a deflagration or detonation risk, which might challenge the containment structural integrity. These issues, as well as the capability of various computer codes to predict the evolution of a representative accident, are addressed in the coordinated projects ERCOSAM of the 7th EURATOM FWP and the project SAMARA sponsored by ROSATOM. The projects aim to establish whether in a test sequence representative of a severe accident in a LWR hydrogen stratification can be established during the initial transient following a loss of coolant accident (LOCA) and whether and how this stratification can be broken down by the operation of Severe Accident Management systems (SAMs): sprays, coolers and Passive Auto-catalytic Recombiners (PARs). Experiments with helium (as simulant of hydrogen) have been performed at “small scale” in TOSQAN (IRSN, Saclay), and “medium scale” in the MISTRA (CEA, Saclay), PANDA (PSI, Villigen) and SPOT ((JSC “Afrikantov OKBM”, Nizhny Novgorod) facilities. The present paper presents the analysis of the initial transient of some tests in the PANDA, TOSQAN and SPOT facilities using the GOTHIC computer code. The work therefore addresses the capability of the code and a relatively coarse mesh to simulate the pressurisation and build-up of steam and helium stratification for conditions representative of a postulated severe accident scenario, properly scaled to the various facilities. The prediction of the pressurisation is excellent, and the position of the gas concentration stratification front at the end of the steam and helium releases is generally well captured.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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