United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Final Results of the Hydrogen Igniter Experimental Program (NUREG/CR-2486)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 1981
Date Published
: February 1982

Prepared by:
W. E. Lowry (Principal Investigator), B. R. Bowman, LLNL,
B. W. Davis, Northern Arizona University

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Avenue
Livermore, CA 94550

Prepared for:
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C. 20555
NRC FIN No. A0418

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Abstract

Thermal igniters proposed by the Tennessee Valley Authority for intentional ignition of hydrogen in nuclear reactor containments have been tested in mixtures of air, hydrogen, and steam. The igniters, conventional diesel engine glow plugs, were tested in a 10.6 ft 3 pressure vessel with dry hydrogen concentrations from 4% to 29% hydrogen, and in steam fractions of up to 50%. Dry tests indicated complete combustion between 8% and 9% H2 , and no combustion for concentrations below 5%. Steam tests were done with hydrogen volume fractions of 8%, 10%, and 12%. Steam concentrations of up to 30% consistently resulted in ignition. Most of the 40% steam fraction tests resulted in combustion. In a few isolated cases the 50% steam fraction tests indicated a pressure rise. Circulation of the mixture improved combustion in

both the dry and the steam tests, most notably at low H2 concentrations. An analysis of the high steam fraction test data showed a high probability for the presence of small, suspended, water droplets in the test mixture. The suppressive influence of this condensation-generated fog on combustion is evaluated.

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