Modelling the role of pellet crack motion in the (r-θ) plane upon pellet-clad interaction in advanced gas reactor fuel

T. A. Haynes, J. A. Ball, M. R. Wenman

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A finite element model of pellet fragment relocation in the r-θ plane of advanced gas-cooled reactor (AGR) fuel is presented under conditions of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ pellet-clad interaction. The model was able to predict the additional radial displacement of fuel fragments towards the cladding as well as the stress concentration on the inner surface resulting from the azimuthal motion of pellet fragments. The model was subjected to a severe ramp in power from both full power and after a period of reduced power operation; in the former, the maximum hoop stress in the cladding was found to be increased by a factor of 1.6 as a result of modelling the pellet fragment motion. The pellet-clad interaction was found to be relatively insensitive to the number of radial pellet crack. However, it was very sensitive to both the coefficient of friction used between the clad and pellet fragments and power ramp duration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-284
Number of pages14
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Early online date20 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

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