In order to prevent the containment and other safety relevant components from incurring serious damage caused by a detonation of the hydrogen/air-mixture generated during a severe accident in light water reactors (LWR) passive autocatalytic recombiners (PAR) are used for hydrogen removal in an increasing number of European plants. These devices make use of the fact that hydrogen and oxygen react exothermally on catalytic surfaces generating steam and heat. Experimental investigations at several research facilities indicate that existing PAR systems bear the risk of igniting the gaseous mixture due to an overheating of the catalyst elements caused by strong reaction heat generation. Innovative devices could overcome existing limitations making use of the knowledge deduced from experiments performed at the REKO facilities at Forschungszentrum Juelich (FZJ). The paper analyses the mechanisms of the thermal behaviour of catalytic plate-type recombiners and presents experimental results on existing and innovative devices for hydrogen removal introducing the modular recombiner concept. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Times Cited: 21 11th International Conference on Nuclear Energy (ICONE-11) Apr 20-23, 2003 Tokyo, JAPAN Japan Soc Mech Engineers; Amer Soc Mech Engineers 21