Conference Proceedings Paper
Modeling of Fuel Bundle Vibration and the Associated Fretting Wear in a CANDU Fuel Channel
NURETH-14 - 2011 September 25-30
Atef Mohany (University of New Brunswick)
Marwan Hassan (University of New Brunswick)
In this paper a numerical model is developed to predict the vibration response of a CANDU
bundle and the associated fretting wear in the surrounding pressure tube. One excitation
mechanism is considered in this model; turbulence-induced excitation caused by coolant flow
inside the fuel channel. The numerical model can be easily adapted to include the effects of
seismic events, fuel bundle impact during refuelling and start-up of the reactor, and the acoustic
pressure pulsations caused by the primary heat transport (PHT) pumps. The simulation is
performed for a typical CANDU fuel bundle with 37 fuel elements. The clearances between the
buttons of the inner fuel elements, and between the bearing pads of the outer fuel elements and
the pressure tube were measured from an actual fuel bundle. Some variability among the
measured clearance values was observed. Therefore, probability density functions of the
measured clearance values were established and the simulation was performed for the
probabilistic distribution of the clearance values. The contact between the fuel bundle and the
pressure tube is modeled using pseudo-force contact method. The proposed modelling technique
can be used in future CANDU reactors to avoid fuel and pressure tube fretting damage due to the
aforementioned excitation mechanisms.
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