Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Masahiro Kawaji


VHTR, nuclear energy, global warming, reactor building, reactor cavities, DFLOC, DCC, LOCA, DBA



Very High Temperature Reactors (VHTRs) and High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) are Generation IV gas reactors that promise to deliver high temperature process heat and efficient electricity for both industrial and commercial purposes. They have a high level of inherent passive safety making them a viable alternative to traditional water-cooled reactors. These helium gas-cooled reactors use graphite containing U-235 TRISO fuel particles in their core, as a moderator to slow down neutrons for fission chain reactions and for general core support. In the event of a primary circuit pipe break, the coolant gas escapes into the surrounding reactor cavity until the pressure between the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) and cavities equalize. At this point, it is possible for air to flow back into the RPV, where it can react exothermally with high temperature graphite and result in damages to the reactor components. This research investigates the spatial distributions of air and helium concentrations, and their temperature fields in simulated reactor cavities of a reactor building following a hypothetical Loss of Coolant Accident.



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