Ignition and flame propagation in hydrogen-air layers from a geological nuclear waste repository: A preliminary study

Je Ir Ryu, Seung Min Woo, Manseok Lee, Hyun Chul Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the geological repository of radioactive nuclear waste, anaerobic corrosion can generate hydrogen, and may conservatively lead to the production of hydrogen-air layer. The accumulated hydrogen may cause a hazardous flame propagation resulting from any potential ignition sources. This study numerically investigates the processes of ignition and flame propagation in the layered mixture. Simple geometry was chosen to represent the geological repository, and reactive flow simulations were performed with different ignition power, energy, and locations. The simulation results revealed the effects of power and energy of ignition source, which were also analyzed theoretically. The mechanism of layered flame propagation was suggested, which includes three stages: propagation into the hydrogen area, downward propagation due to the product gas, and horizontal propagation along the top wall. To investigate the effect of the ignition source location, simulations with eight different positions were performed, and the boundary of hazardous ignition area was identified. The simulation results were also explained through scaling analysis. This study evaluates the potential risk of the accumulated hydrogen in geological repository, and illustrates the layered flame propagation in related ignition scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-137
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Engineering and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Anaerobic corrosion
  • Flame propagation
  • Geological repository
  • Hydrogen
  • Ignition
  • Layered flame
  • Nuclear waste disposal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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