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Analysis of mechanical load on cladding induced by fuel swelling during power ramp in high burn-up rod by fuel performance code FEMAXI-6

Suzuki, Motoe; Uetsuka, Hiroshi; Saito, Hiroaki*

Mechanical load on cladding induced by fuel swelling in a high burn-up BWR type rod has been analyzed by a fuel performance code FEMAXI-6. The code has been developed for the analysis of LWR fuel rod behaviors in normal operation and transient conditions using FEM. During a power ramp for the high burn-up rod, instantaneous pellet swelling can significantly exceed the level that is predicted by a "steady-rate" swelling model, causing a large circumferential strain in cladding. This phenomenon has been simulated by a new swelling model to take into account the fission gas bubble growth, and as a result it has been found that the new model can give reasonable predictions on cladding diameter expansion in comparison with post-irradiation data. In addition, a pellet-clad bonding model which has been incorporated in the code to assume firm mechanical coupling between pellet outer surface and cladding inner surface has predicted the generation of bi-axial stress state in the cladding during ramp.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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