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Evaluation of thermal-hydraulics/thermomechanics coupling strategies for the modeling of the behavior of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors fuel subassemblies under irradiation

Abstract : The fuel pin bundles of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR) undergo significant geometrical changes during their irradiation, which affect the coolant flow and temperature distributions in the fuel subassembly, the knowledge of which is necessary for safety assessments. Moreover, as the phenomena responsible for the deformation of the fuel bundles, namely the swelling and creep of the cladding, strongly depend on the temperature, a coupling between the thermal-hydraulic and thermomechanical evolutions of the fuel subassemblies exists. The aim of this paper is to define a methodology for the evaluation of the SFR fuel bundles behavior under irradiation that takes this coupling into account.To this end, a new numerical coupling has been developed between the industrial Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code Star-CCM+ and a finite element code dedicated to the modeling of the thermomechanical behavior of SFR fuel subassemblies during irradiation, DOMAJEUR2. The coupling is implemented via the exchange of the cladding diametral deformation, calculated by DOMAJEUR2, and its associated temperature field, obtained with Star-CCM+. The sodium mass flow rate reduction expected in the deformed geometries is also taken into account. A coupled analysis of a 7-pin SFR bundle is presented in this paper. It is shown that, for a high irradiation dose, the deformation induces a significant sodium temperature increase, leading to a cladding maximal surface temperature up to 57DC higher than in a non-deformed bundle. Additionally, the coupled simulations resulted in a diametral strain of the fuel claddings significantly lower (up to -30% locally) than the traditional non-coupled simulations.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 13, 2019 - 2:12:15 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 6, 2020 - 3:09:32 AM

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  • HAL Id : cea-02339109, version 1

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F. Acosta, T. Cadiou, V. Blanc, P. Rubiolo. Evaluation of thermal-hydraulics/thermomechanics coupling strategies for the modeling of the behavior of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors fuel subassemblies under irradiation. 12th International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal-Hydraulics, Operation and Safety (NUTHOS-12), Oct 2018, Qingdao, China. ⟨cea-02339109⟩

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