This paper investigates the transient gasification of NBG-18 nuclear graphite with atmospheric air ingress in a 0.8-m long coolant channel of a prismatic Very High Temperature Reactor fuel element. Analysis varied the initial graphite and air inlet temperature, To, from 800 to 1100 K at air inlet Reynolds number, Rein = 5, 10 and 20. The analysis employs a Generic Interface that couples a multi-species diffusion and flow model to readout tables of the CO and CO2 production fluxes. These fluxes are functions of the graphite local surface temperature, oxygen partial pressure and graphite weight loss fraction and calculated using a chemical-reactions kinetics model for the gasification of nuclear graphite. The analysis accounts for the heats of formation of CO and CO2 gases, the heat conduction in the graphite sleeve, and the change in the oxygen partial pressure in the bulk gas flow mixture along the channel. Transient calculations performed up to a weight loss fraction of 0.10 at the entrance of the channel, t10. They include the local graphite surface temperature and composition of bulk gas flow, the local and total graphite weight losses and the local and total production rates of CO and CO2 gases. The heat released in the exothermic production reactions of these gases increases the local graphite surface temperature, accelerating its gasification. At the end of the calculated gasification transient, t = t10, the graphite weight loss is highest at the channel entrance and decreases rapidly with axial distance into the channel, to its lowest value where oxygen in the bulk gas flow is depleted. Increasing To decreases t10 and the total graphite loss, while increasing Rein decreases t10 but increases graphite loss. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.