In order to understand airflow dynamics through small openings encountered in containment enclosures used for nuclear decommissioning operations, the results of experimental and numerical investigations are analyzed.

The main purposes of this work are to identify the required conditions likely to generate flow inversions at the studied opening which lead to pollutant leakage outside depressurized enclosures, and also to verify the ability of CFD1 simulations to predict these flow inversions by using U-RANS2 and LES3 approaches. All along this work, we tried to reproduce the conditions of leakage occurring at the opening in terms of aerodynamics and openings geometries.

Laser flow visualizations and CFD results show that an additional flow, such as a turbulent jet in competition with the directional flow and a disturbed level of pressure inside the enclosure are among the main causes leading to the leakage through the opening.

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