MELCOR-H2 benchmarking of the SNL transient sulfuric acid decomposition experiments Conference Paper uri icon


  • MELCOR is a world-renowned nuclear reactor safety analysis code that is used to simulate both light water and gas-cooled reactors. MELCOR-H2 is an extension of MELCOR that can model detailed nuclear reactors that are fully coupled with modular secondary-system components and the sulfur iodine (SI) thermochemical cycle for the generation of hydrogen and electricity. The models are applicable to both steady state and transient calculations. Previous work has shown that the hydrogen generation rate calculated by MELCOR-H2 for the SI cycle was within the expected theoretical yield, thus providing a macroscopic confirmation that MELCOR-H2's computational approach is reasonable. However, in order to better quantify its adequacy, benchmarking of the code with experimental data is required. Sulfuric acid decomposition experiments were conducted during late 2006 at Sandia National Laboratories, and MELCOR-H2 was used to simulate them. We developed an input deck based on the experiment's geometry, as well as the initial and boundary conditions, and then proceeded to compare the experimental acid conversion efficiency and SO2 production data with the code output. The comparison showed that the simulation output was typically within less than 10% of experimental data, and that key experimental data trends such as acid conversion efficiency, molar acid flow rate, and solution mole % were computed adequately by the MELCOR-H2.

author list (cited authors)

  • Rodriguez, S. B., Louie, D., Gauntt, R. O., Gelbard, F., Pickard, P., Cole, R., ... Tournier, J. M.

publication date

  • January 2014