International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.42, No.12, 8369-8381, 2017
GASFLOW-MPI: A new 3-D parallel all-speed CFD code for turbulent dispersion and combustion simulations Part II: First analysis of the hydrogen explosion in Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1
The core-melt in Fukushima-Daiichi Unit 1 represents a new class of severe accidents in which combustible gas from core degradation leaked from the containment into the surrounding air-filled reactor building, formed there a highly reactive gas mixture, and exploded 25 h after begin of the station black-out. Since TMI-2 hydrogen safety research and management has focussed on processes and counter-measures inside the containment but the reactor building remained unprotected against hydrogen threats. The code GASFLOW-MPI is currently under development to simulate hydrogen behaviors, including distribution and combustion, for scenarios with containment leakage. This paper describes a first analysis of the hydrogen explosion in Unit 1. It investigates gas dispersion in the reactor building, assuming a leak at the drywell head flange, shows the evolution of a stratified, inhomogeneous H-2-O2-N2 steam mixture in the refueling bay, simulates the combustion of the reactive gas mixture, and predicts pressure loads to walls and internal structures of the reactor building. The blast wave propagated essentially sideways, which explains why all side walls were blown out and the ceiling just collapsed onto the floor of the refueling bay. The blast wave propagation into the free environment was also simulated. The over-pressure amplitudes are sufficiently high to cause damage to adjacent buildings and to injure people. The hitherto existing presumption that the blowout panel of Unit 2 was removed by the Unit 1 explosion can be confirmed which likely prevented a hydrogen explosion in the Unit 2. GASFLOW-MPI provides validated models for the integral simulations of leakage related core-melt scenarios. Furthermore, the code contains extensively tested submodels for catalytic recombiners, igniters and burst foils, which allow design of new hydrogen risk mitigation systems for currently unprotected spaces in reactor buildings. (C) 2017 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.