Thermal evolution and ventilation

Example of a CFD approach applied to thermal simulation.

Long-term thermal evolution in a confined area loaded with exothermic sources


  • Client: private company in the energy sector.

  • This study was part of the CIGEO project (French project for a deep radioactive waste storage centre).

  • Key physical concepts : ventilation, convection, radiation, conjugate heat transfert.
Round radiation warning sign on white background
Example CIGEO packages


  • Radioactive waste is exothermic and emits heat. This radiation is noticeable for some decades, but gradually decreases.

  • The site must be sufficiently ventilated so that the construction materials are never subjected to excessively high temperatures.

  • This also imposes constraints on the timing of the introduction of radioactive waste into the cells.

Contributions to the project

  • Contribution to the development and validation of a computational methodology for long time simulation (> several decades) with complete physics (mixed convection, radiation and heat transfer in solids).

  • Meshing, CFD simulation and analysis of numerous configurations. Sensibility to material properties, to ventilation, to thermal power.

  • Development of criteria for ventilation and introduction of radioactive waste, to ensure that there is no risk.
Meshing example 1
CFD simulation - Ventilation with exothermal sources

Technical environment

  • Linux and Windows, personal computing cluster.

  • Programming with C/C++.

  • Meshing with Gmsh.

  • CFD with Code_Saturne, coupled with Syrthes for solid state thermics.

  • Visualisation with ParaView.