Conference Proceedings Paper
PROBABILISTIC MODELS FOR ASSESSING THE PERFORMANCE OF NUCLEAR FUEL
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel - 2016 Aug. 15-18
M. Pandey (University of Waterloo, Canada)
P. Chan (Royal Military College of Canada)
The nuclear fuel bundles operate under extreme conditions of high temperature and high radiation field. The fuel bundles are designed and manufactured to ensure high structural integrity of bundles under such extreme conditions. In spite of this, occurrences of defects in fuel bundles in operating reactors cannot be completely eliminated. A defective fuel bundle is disruptive to reactor’s operation and results in economic losses. Therefore, a quantitative approach to assess the reliability of nuclear fuel bundles is necessary. The reliability of a fuel bundle means the probability that the bundle meets all necessary structural integrity requirements over its entire operating period. The reliability can be compromised by variability in material and manufacturing processes as well as extreme fluctuations in stresses generated by reactor’s operating conditions. The objective of this paper is to present a probabilistic methodology to quantify the reliability of fuel bundles considering potential variations in the physical properties of bundles and random variations in the operating conditions. This model can be used to predict the probability of occurrences of fuel defects in an operating interval. In summary, the proposed approach is expected to improve the performance of nuclear fuel bundles.
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