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Qualification of a Passive Catalytic Module for Hydrogen Mitigation

Karsten Fischer

Nuclear Technology

Volume 112 / Number 1 / October 1995 / Pages 58-62


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The advantage of passive catalytic modules for hydrogen mitigation during core-melt accidents, as compared with active devices like forced-flow recombiners or ignitors, is given by the higher reliability of operation and the elimination of potentially violent combustion events. An important step in the qualification of a passive catalytic module system is the determination of the total required capacity and its distribution at various locations in the containment. Experiments and analytic modeling work were performed to qualify the installation of a system of catalytic modules for a large dry pressurized water reactor (PWR) containment. The operational capacity of a prototype catalytic module was determined experimentally, and a corresponding model correlation was developed and integrated into the GOTHIC containment code. This modified code was validated against experimental data. As an application, predictions of the effects, resulting from backfitting a large, dry PWR containment with 50 catalytic modules, were done using the modified code. The catalytic modules keep the hydrogen concentrations below a level of 10% where violent deflagrations could be expected. Local higher concentrations near the release location are inert due to associated low oxygen and high steam concentrations. A proper distribution of the modules in the containment guarantees full mixing of the atmosphere due to natural convective currents.

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