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research-article

Multiphysics Modeling of Pressurized Water Reactor Fuel Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
Wang Zhu

School of Physics, Sun Yat-Sen University Full Mailing Address: Guangzhou, P.R. China 510275
wangzh255@mail2.sysu.edu.cn

Zhang Chunyu

Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University Full Mailing Address: Zhuhai, P.R. China 519082
zhangchy5@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Yuan Cenxi

Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University Full Mailing Address: Zhuhai, P.R. China 519082
yuancx@mail.sysu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039848 History: Received September 03, 2017; Revised March 10, 2018

Abstract

Nuclear fuel rods operate under complex radioactive, thermal and mechanical conditions. Nowadays fuel rod codes usually make great simplifications on analyzing the multiphysics behavior of fuel rods. The present study develops a three dimensional module within the framework of a general-purpose finite element solver, i.e. ABAQUS, for modeling the major physics of the fuel rods. A typical fuel rod, subjected to stable operations and transient conditions, is modeled. The results show that the burnup levels have an important influence on the thermos-mechanical behavior of fuel rods. The swelling of fission products cause a dramatically increasing strain of pellets. The variation of the stress and the radial displacement of the cladding along the axial direction can be reasonably predicted. It is shown that a quick power ramp or a reactivity insertion accident can induce high tensile stress to the outer regime of the pellet and may cause further fragmentation to the pellets. Fission products migration effects and differential thermal expansion become more severe if there are flaws or imperfections on the pellet.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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