Research Papers

Validation Facility and Model Development for Nuclear Fuel Assembly Response to Seismic Loading

[+] Author and Article Information
Noah A. Weichselbaum

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
The George Washington University,
Washington, DC 20052
e-mail: weichselbaum@gwu.edu

Morteza Rahimi Abkenar

Civil and Environmental Engineering,
The George Washington University,
Washington, DC 20052
e-mail: rahimi_m@gwu.edu

Marcos Vanella

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
The George Washington University,
Washington, DC 20052

Majid T. Manzari

Civil and Environmental Engineering,
The George Washington University,
Washington, DC 20052
e-mail: manzari@gwu.edu

Elias Balaras

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
The George Washington University,
Washington, DC 20052
e-mail: balaras@gwu.edu

Philippe M. Bardet

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
The George Washington University,
Washington, DC 20052
e-mail: bardet@gwu.edu

Manuscript received January 31, 2015; final manuscript received June 30, 2015; published online September 3, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Jovica R. Riznic.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 1(4), 041005 (Sep 16, 2015) (11 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1013; doi: 10.1115/1.4031031 History: Received January 31, 2015; Accepted July 07, 2015; Online September 03, 2015

A joint experimental and numerical campaign is conducted to provide validation dataset of high-fidelity fluid–structure interaction (FSI) models of nuclear fuel assemblies during seismic loading. A refractive index-matched (RIM) flow loop is operated on a six-degree-of-freedom shake table and instrumented with nonintrusive optical diagnostics. The test section can house up to three full-height fuel assemblies. To guarantee reproducible and controlled initial conditions, special care is given to the test section inlet plenum; in particular, it is designed to minimize secondary pulsatile flow that may arise due to ground acceleration. A single transparent surrogate 6×6 fuel subassembly is used near prototypical Reynolds number, Re=105 based on hydraulic diameter. To preserve dynamic similarity of the model with prototype, the main dimensionless parameters are matched and custom spacer grids are designed. Special instruments are developed to characterize fluid and structure response and to operate in this challenging shaking environment. In parallel to the earlier experiments, we also conducted fully coupled direct numerical simulations, where the equations for the fluid and the structure are simultaneously advanced in time using a partitioned scheme. To deal with the highly complex geometrical configuration, which also involves large displacements and deformations, we utilize a second-order accurate, immersed boundary (IB) formulation, where the geometry is immersed in a block-structured grid with adaptive mesh refinement (AMR). To explore a wide parametric range, we will consider several subsets of the experimental configuration. A typical computation involves 60,000 cores, on leadership high-performance computing facilities (i.e., IBM Blue-Gene Q–MIRA).

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Viallet, E., Bolsee, G., Ladouceur, B., Goubin, T., and Rigaudeau, J., 2003, “Validation of PWR Core Seismic Models With Shaking Table Tests on Interacting Scale 1 Fuel Assemblies,” Transactions of the 17th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMIRT 17), International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.
Ricciardi, G., and Boccaccio, E., 2014, “Measurements of Fluid Fluctuations Around an Oscillating Nuclear Fuel Assembly,” J. Fluids Struct., 48(1), pp. 332–346. 10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2014.03.016
Lu, R. Y., and Seel, D. D., 2006, “PWR Fuel Assembly Damping Characteristics,” Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, New York.
Kang, H. S., Song, K. N., Kim, H. K., and Yoon, K. H., 2003, “Axial-Flow-Induced Vibration for a Rod Supported by Translational Springs at Both Ends,” Nucl. Eng. Des., 220(1), pp. 83–90. 10.1016/S0029-5493(02)00291-1
Bell, J. H., and Mehta, R. D., 1991, “Contraction Design for Small Low-Speed Wind Tunnels,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC, NASA CR-182747.
Zuber, N., 1991, “An Integrated Structure and Scaling Methodology for Severe Accident Technical Issue Resolution, Appendix D,” U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NUREG/CR-5809.
Paidoussis, M. P., 1981, “Fluidelastic Vibration of Cylinder Arrays in Axial and Cross Flow: State of the Art,” J. Sound Vib., 76(3), pp. 31–60.
Wiederseiner, S., Andreini, N., Epely-Chauvin, G., and Ancey, C., 2011, “Refractive-Index and Density Matching in Concentrated Particle Suspensions: A Review,” Exp. Fluids, 50(5), pp. 1183–1206. 10.1007/s00348-010-0996-8
Rubin, A., Schoedel, A., and Avramova, M., 2010, “OECD/NRC Benchmark Based on NUPEC PWR Subchannel and Bundle Tests (PSBT),” NEA/NSC/DOC(2010)1, US NRC/OECD NEA.
Kang, H. S., Song, K. N., Kim, H. K., Yoon, K. H., and Jung, Y. H., 2001, “Verification Test and Model Updating for a Nuclear Fuel Rod With Its Supporting Structure,” J. Korean Nucl. Soc., 33(1), pp. 73–82.
Haam, S. J., Brodkey, R. S., Fort, I., Klabock, L., Placnik, M., and Vanecek, V., 2000, “Laser Doppler Anemometry Measurements in an Index of Refraction Matched Column in the Presence of Dispersed Beads,” Int. J. Multiphase Flow, 26(9), pp. 1401–1418. 10.1016/S0301-9322(99)00094-4
Dominguez-Ontiveros, E. E., and Hassan, Y. A., 2009, “Non-Intrusive Experimental Investigation of Flow Behavior Inside a 5x5 Rod Bundle With Spacer Grids Using PIV and MIR,” Nucl. Eng. Des., 239(5), pp. 888–898. 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2009.01.009
Bardet, P. M., Fu, C. D., Sickel, C. E., and Weichselbaum, N. A., 2014, “Refractive Index and Solubility Control of Para-Cymene Solutions,” 2014 International Symposium on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal.
Weichselbaum, N. A., Clement, S., Wang, S., André, M. A., Rahimi-Abkenar, M., Manzari, M. T., and Bardet, P. M., 2014, “Single Camera PIV/Shadowgraphy and Laser Delivery on Earthquake Shake Table for Fluid-Structure Interaction Measurements,” 2014 International Symposium on Applications of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisbon, Portugal.
Incropera, F. P., and DeWitt, D. P., 1981, Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York.
Chorin, A. J., 1968, “Numerical Solution of the Navier-Stokes Equations,” Math. Comput., 22(104), pp. 745–762. 10.1090/S0025-5718-1968-0242392-2
Kim, J., and Moin, P., 1985, “Application of a Fractional-Step Method to Incompressible Navier-Stokes Equations,” J. Comput. Phys., 59(2), pp. 308–323. 10.1016/0021-9991(85)90148-2
Van Kan, J., 1986, “A Second-Order Accurate Pressure-Correction Scheme for Viscous Incompressible Flow,” SIAM J. Sci. Stat. Comput., 7(3), pp. 870–891. 10.1137/0907059
Flash Code, Flash Center for Computational Science, University of Chicago. http://flash.uchicago.edu/site.
De Zeeuw, D., and Powell, K. G., 1993, “An Adaptively Refined Cartesian Mesh Solver for the Euler Equations,” J. Comput. Phys., 104(1), pp. 56–68. 10.1006/jcph.1993.1007
MacNeice, P., Olson, K. M., Mobarry, C., deFainchtein, R., and Packer, C., 2000, “Paramesh: A Parallel Adaptive Mesh Refinement Community Toolkit,” Comput. Phys. Commun., 126(3), pp. 330–354. 10.1016/S0010-4655(99)00501-9
Daley, C., Vanella, M., Dubey, A., Weide, K., and Balaras, E., 2012, “Optimization of Elliptic Based Multigrid Solver for Large Scale Simulations in the FLASH Code,” Concurrency Comput. Pract. Exp., 24(18), pp. 2346–2361. 10.1002/cpe.v24.18
Vanella, M., Ez Eldin, H., Mohapatra, P., Daley, C., Dubey, A., and Balaras, E., 2013, “A Computational Scheme for Simulation of Dense Suspensions of Arbitrarily Shaped Rigid Particles,” 66th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (Bulletin of the American Physical Society), Vol. 58, American Physical Society, College Park, MD.
Uhlmann, M., 2005, “An Immersed Boundary Method With Direct Forcing for the Simulation of Particulate Flows,” J. Comput. Phys., 209(2), pp. 448–476. 10.1016/j.jcp.2005.03.017
Vanella, M., and Balaras, E., 2009, “A Moving-Least-Squares Reconstruction for Embedded-Boundary Formulations,” J. Comput. Phys., 228(18), pp. 6617–6628. 10.1016/j.jcp.2009.06.003
Fadlun, E. A., Verzicco, R., Orlandi, R., and Mohd-Yusof, J., 2000, “Combined Immersed-Boundary Finite-Difference Methods for Three-Dimensional Complex Flow Simulations,” J. Comput. Phys., 161(1), pp. 35–60. 10.1006/jcph.2000.6484
Vanella, M., Posa, A., and Balaras, E., 2014, “Adaptive Mesh Refinement for Immersed Boundary Methods,” J. Fluids Eng., 136(4), p. 040901. 10.1115/1.4026415
Modarres-Sadeghi, Y., Paidoussis, M. P., Semler, C., and Grinevich, E., 2008, “Experiments on Vertical Slender Flexible Cylinders Clamped at Both Ends and Subjected to Axial Flow,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A, 366(1), pp. 1275–1296. 10.1098/rsta.2007.2131
Yang, J., Preidikman, S., and Balaras, E., 2008, “A Strongly Coupled, Embedded Boundary Method for Fluid-Structure Interactions of Elastically Mounted Rigid Bodies,” J. Fluids Struct., 24(2), pp. 167–182. 10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2007.08.002
Vanella, M., Rabenold, P., and Balaras, E., 2010, “A Direct-Forcing Embedded Boundary Method With Adaptive Mesh Refinement for Fluid-Structure Interaction Problems,” J. Comput. Phys., 229(18), pp. 6427–6449. 10.1016/j.jcp.2010.05.003
Mohapatra, P., Dubey, A., Daley, C., Vanella, M., and Balaras, E., 2013, “Parallel Algorithms for Using Lagrangian Markers in Immersed Boundary Method With Adaptive Mesh Refinement in FLASH,” Proceedings of SBAC-PAD 2013, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Piscataway, NJ, pp. 214–220. 10.1109/SBAC-PAD.2013.27


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Acrylic rod in pure para-cymene (top), acrylic rod in para-cymene/cinnamic aldehyde solution (bottom)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Spacer grid design

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Layout of experimental facility. Test section is fixed on the shake table with support structure

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Full structural model

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Ground motion records used in the seismic analyses: top: El Centro; bottom: Santa Monica

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Displacement (in mm) of the structure under El Centro record for cases α and C with 5% of damping

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Computed mode shapes. Left: first three modes of prototypical bundle; center: first three modes of surrogate bundle; right: first mode of full facility

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Displacements (in mm) of fuel rods under sinusoidal motion for case α

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Schemes for consistent forcing when surfaces span different grid-blocks, Lagrangian IB forcing: (a) Using duplicated marker particles (virtual particles), assigned to the guard-cell regions of the block (mvl, mvl+1 for block A). (b) Using inverse guard-cell filling after forcing by markers within the domain of each block, and subsequent addition of volume forces on each block boundaries

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Schematic of fuel rod subjected to seismic ground acceleration aB(t)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Eulerian and Lagrangian grids in two dimensions. A Lagrangian marker is related to Eulerian stencil on each velocity component

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Computational setup for 2×2 fuel rod assembly. The uniform Eulerian grid (fluid grid) is split on a processor grid distributed on the y–z axes (rectangular blocks). The rods are split on an arbitrary number of segments and distributed among processors

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

2×2 spacer grid + fuel rod assembly: Instantaneous flow field for nondimensional time t*=39.0 for direct simulation. Vorticity in span-wise y-direction is shown on different slices around two rods and the spacer grid assembly

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Computational setup for 2×2 spacer grid + fuel rod assembly. Both spacer grid and fuel rods’ surfaces are triangulated, split in a specified amount of bodies and their boundary condition is treated using immersed boundaries



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In