Light water reactor fuel performance: Current status, challenges, and future high fidelity modeling
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There is a long-standing tie between modeling and nuclear fuel performance, from predicting core physics to optimizing the fuel reloading pattern to designing safety margins into fuel assemblies. This paper reviews current fuel performance and fuel reliability challenges facing the industry, including a description of the most common fuel failure mechanisms observed in pressurized water reactors. A description of a new Energy Innovation Hub, the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), funded by the Department of Energy is then provided that introduces an approach to utilize high performance computing to investigate the coupled physics controlling nuclear fuel performance. The article concludes by summarizing the future challenges of modeling nuclear fuel behavior addressed by the CASL program.
KeywordsFuel Assembly Fuel Pellet Light Water Reactor Fuel Performance Hydrogen Pickup
- 1.Energy Innovation Hubs, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20585; www.energy.gov/hubs/index.htm.