CFD Study of Fires in Mechanically Ventilated Nuclear Compartments

   Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment

  , ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Fire remains a major risk in nuclear power plants (NPPs). Fire safety research therefore plays an important role in developing fire simulation tools for risk assessments in nuclear facilities. Most of the fire research literature is mainly concerned with (1) under-ventilated compartment fires (typical of normal houses and buildings where the availability of air controls the fire dynamics) and (2) well-ventilated fires found in outdoor accidental scenarios. In NPPs however, there is a safety requirement to confine the nuclear materials by mechanical ventilation (dynamic confinement) by creating a negative pressure in the room under consideration. A fire in such a confined room has an increased hazard level because of pressure variations. These pressure variations are very critical for a nuclear site, as they can modify the confinement level and hence endangers the safety of the entire installation. Although some progress was made in recent years, there is still an important development work needed to model and understand better fires in NPPs. The use of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) for fire simulations has increased in recent year, but the accuracy of these tools for NPPs still needs to improve. Through a recently completed PhD project in our research group, a mechanical ventilation and fuel burning rate prediction models have been developed, implemented, and validated in the open source CFD fire code FireFOAM [1].

The main goal of the present proposed PhD project is to continue this progress by developing and expanding the capabilities of the CFD approach to predict the mass burning rates of various types of burning fuels in NPPs and advance knowledge on the phenomena involved in fire dynamics and behaviour. The specific details of the project will be discussed with prospective candidates.

Engineering (12)


[1] O. Ukairo, S. Dembele, Siaka, A. Heidari, H. Pretrel, and J. Wen (2021) Investigation of fires in a mechanically ventilated compartment using the CFD code FireFOAM Nuclear Engineering and Design. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 384, p. 111515. ISSN (print) 0029-5493.

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