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Title: A Hydrogen Ignition Mechanism for Explosions in Nuclear Facility Piping Systems

Hydrogen explosions may occur simultaneously with water hammer accidents in nuclear facilities, and a theoretical mechanism to relate water hammer to hydrogen deflagrations and explosions is presented herein. Hydrogen and oxygen generation due to the radiolysis of water is a recognized hazard in pipe systems used in the nuclear industry, where the accumulation of hydrogen and oxygen at high points in the pipe system is expected, and explosive conditions may occur. Pipe ruptures in nuclear reactor cooling systems were attributed to hydrogen explosions inside pipelines, i.e., Hamaoka, Nuclear Power Station in Japan, and Brunsbuettel in Germany. Prior to these accidents, an ignition source for hydrogen was not clearly demonstrated, but these accidents demonstrated that a mechanism was, in fact, available to initiate combustion and explosion. A new theory to identify an ignition source and explosion cause is presented here, and further research is recommended to fully understand this explosion mechanism.
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0094-9930
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology; Journal Volume: 135; Journal Issue: 5
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Country of Publication:
United States
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS Hydrogen, explosions, nuclear facility, nuclear reactor, power plant safety, reactor safety, off shore drilling, oil drilling, Gulf oil spill / disaster, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima hydrogen explosions, fluid transients, water hammer, adiabatic compression.