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Characterization, simulation and improvement of spacer pads mechanical behaviour for sodium fast reactor fuel subassemblies

Abstract : CEA is currently working on a new prototype of Sodium cooled Fast Reactor, ASTRID, which must demonstrate strong safety level. Spacer pads, which are small bosses stamped through faces of the hexagonal duct, play a central role in this framework. Indeed, this component maintains proper spacing of fuel subassemblies. This spacing impact significantly the core reactivity, which could be decreasing due to a hypothetical core-flowering phenomenon then, be increasing during the compaction phase. Therefore, the stiffness of spacer pads needs to be well characterized and improved in order to prevent from unsafe reactivity insertion due to radial core compaction. For this purpose, a finite element model is used in order to reproduce the stamping process and obtain a representative geometry of the bosses. Moreover, the mechanical response of this model is successfully compared to experimental results of duct crushing at nominal temperature condition. Finally, this model is used in order to achieve an optimization of the design of the spacer pads for ASTRID subassemblies. This study shows that stiffness of this component can significantly be improved only by modifying its geometry.
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  • HAL Id : cea-02492561, version 1

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CEA | DEN

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V. Blanc, X. Jeanningros, P. Lamagnere, T. Helfer, T. Beck. Characterization, simulation and improvement of spacer pads mechanical behaviour for sodium fast reactor fuel subassemblies. SMIRT 23 - 23th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology, Aug 2015, Manchester, United Kingdom. ⟨cea-02492561⟩

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