Hydrogen and oxygen generation due to the radiolysis of water is a recognized hazard in pipe systems used in the nuclear industry, where the accumulation of hydrogen and oxygen at high points in the pipe system is expected, and explosive conditions exist. Pipe ruptures at nuclear facilities were attributed to hydrogen explosions inside pipelines, in nuclear facilities, i.e., Hamaoka, Nuclear Power Station in Japan, and Brunsbuettel in Germany. Prior to these accidents an ignition source for hydrogen was questionable, but these accidents, demonstrated that a mechanism was, in fact, available to initiate combustion and explosion. Hydrogen explosions may occur simultaneously with water hammer accidents in nuclear facilities, and a theoretical mechanism to relate water hammer to hydrogen deflagrations and explosions is presented herein.

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