Simulation of the In-Pile Behaviors Evolution in Nuclear Fuel Rods with the Irradiation Damage Effects
Based on the commercial computational software, a three-dimensional finite element model to simulate the thermo-mechanical behaviors in a nuclear fuel rod is established; By taking into consideration irradiation-swelling of the pellet and the irradiation damage effects in the cladding together with the coupling effects between the temperature field and the mechanical field, the user subroutines to define the special material performance and boundary conditions have been developed independently and validated. Three-dimensional numerical simulation of the thermo-mechanical coupling behaviors in a nuclear fuel rod is carried out, and the evolution rules of the important thermal and mechanical variables are obtained and analyzed. The research results indicate that: (1) the fuel pellets will be in contact with the cladding at high burnup, which will induce a strong mechanical interaction between them; (2) the irradiation creep effect plays an important role in the mechanical behavior evolution in the nuclear fuel rod.
Key Wordsirradiation hardening irradiation creep large-deformation thermo-mechanical coupling FEM
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