A preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was performed to understand density-gradient-induced stratified flow in a Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) air-ingress accident. Various parameters were taken into consideration, including turbulence model, core temperature, initial air mole-fraction, and flow resistance in the core. The gas turbine modular helium reactor (GT-MHR) 600 MWt was selected as the reference reactor and it was simplified to be 2D geometry in modeling. The core and the lower plenum were assumed to be porous bodies. Following the preliminary CFD results, the analysis of the air-ingress accident has been performed by two different codes: GAMMA code (system analysis code, Oh et al. 2006) and FLUENT CFD code (Fluent 2007). Eventually, the analysis results showed that the actual onset time of natural convection (∼160 sec) would be significantly earlier than the previous predictions (∼150 hours) calculated based on the molecular diffusion air-ingress mechanism. This leads to the conclusion that the consequences of this accident will be much more serious than previously expected.

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