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Predicting Large Deflections of Multiplate Fuel Elements Using a Monolithic FSI Approach

Franklin G. Curtis, James D. Freels, Kivanc Ekici

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 189 / Number 1 / January 2018 / Pages 82-92

Technical Paper /

Received:June 26, 2017
Accepted:September 10, 2017
Published:November 27, 2017

As part of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is evaluating conversion of fuel for the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) from high-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium. Currently, multiphysics simulations that model fluid-structure interaction phenomena are being performed to ensure the safety of the reactor with the new fuel type. A monolithic solver that fully couples fluid and structural dynamics is used to model deflections in the new design. A classical experiment is chosen to validate the capabilities of the current solver and the method. A single-plate simulation with various boundary conditions as well as a five-plate simulation are presented. Use of the monolithic solver provides stable solutions for the large deflections and the tight coupling of the fluid and structure and the maximum deflections are captured accurately.

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