Evaluation of passive autocatalytic recombiners operation efficiency by means of the lumped parameter approach

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The problem of hydrogen behavior in containment buildings of nuclear reactors belongs to thermal-hydraulic area. Taking into account the size of systems under consideration and, first of all, safety issues, such type of analyses cannot be done by means of full-scale experiments. Therefore, mathematical modeling and numerical simulations are widely used for these purposes. A lumped parameter approach based code HEPCAL has been elaborated in the Institute of Thermal Technology of the Silesian University of Technology for simulations of pressurized water reactor containment transient response. The VVER-440/213 and European pressurised water reactor (EPR) reactors containments are the subjects of analysis within the framework of this paper. Simulations have been realized for the loss-of-coolant accident scenarios with emergency core cooling system failure. These scenarios include core overheating and hydrogen generation. Passive autocatalytic recombiners installed for removal of hydrogen has been taken into account. The operational efficiency of the hydrogen removal system has been evaluated by comparing with an actual hydrogen concentration and flammability limit. This limit has been determined for the three-component mixture of air, steam and hydrogen. Some problems related to the lumped parameter approach application have been also identified.

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