Modeling the thermal-hydraulic behavior of the reactor cavity cooling system using RELAP5-3D Academic Article uri icon


  • The Very High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (VHTR), one of the six proposed designs for the next generation nuclear reactor, was conceived to achieve high temperatures to support industrial applications and power generation. Due to the high temperature reached during normal operation, the design included new passive safety systems. The Reactor Cavity Cooling System (RCCS) is a new passive safety system designed to remove the heat from the reactor cavity during normal operation (steady-state) and accident scenarios. Computational tools such as system codes have been selected to simulate the reactor system and, in particular, the new safety components. The capabilities of these codes are being investigated to verify their ability in predicting the phenomena involved in the RCCS operation during steady-state and accident conditions. A RELAP5-3D input model of a small scale water-cooled experimental facility was prepared to simulate steady-state. The simulation results were compared with data produced during the experimental steady-state run. The results obtained and presented in the paper showed a good agreement of the code prediction with the experimental data. The paper also provides a set of modeling techniques to overcome some of the limitations of the current version of the computer code in simulating complex geometries with combined heat transfer mechanisms in the reactor cavity of the VHTR. 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Vaghetto, R., & Hassan, Y. A.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Vaghetto, Rodolfo||Hassan, Yassin A

publication date

  • November 2014