Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Heat Release Rate Characteristics of Some Combustible Fuel Sources in Nuclear Power Plants.



B T. Lee


A major risk to a nuclear power plant is the possibility of serious fire. There is a need to know the heat release rate behavior of combustible fuels in the plant in order to help reduce the fire threat to these facilities. Heat release rate characteristics of cable tray fires and some of the associated potential external ignition sources are discussed. Existing correlations are given to determining the time to ignition and the subsequent heat release rate of spills and pools of flammable liquids. Approximate correlations are developed for heat release rate for trash fires as a function of fire size and for one particular cable tray array arrangement as a function of the type of cable. In addition, a scheme is given for calculating the heat release rate from wood fuel fires.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) -


cable trays, fire safety, flammability, flammable liquids, heat release rate, ignition, liquid spills, nuclear power plants, pool fires, small scale fire tests, trash, wood


Lee, B. (1985), Heat Release Rate Characteristics of Some Combustible Fuel Sources in Nuclear Power Plants., NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 19, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created July 1, 1985, Updated February 19, 2017