Nuclear Technology / Volume 152 / Number 1 / October 2005 / Pages 118-128
Technical Paper / Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics
This paper presents an approach to the remaining life prediction of steam generator (SG) U-tubes, which are intact initially, subjected to fretting-wear degradation due to the interaction between a vibrating tube and a foreign object in operating nuclear power plants. The operating SG shell-side flow field conditions are obtained from a three-dimensional SG flow calculation using the ATHOS3 code. Modal analyses are performed for the finite element models of U-tubes to get the natural frequency, corresponding mode shape, and participation factor. The wear rate of a U-tube caused by a foreign object is calculated using the Archard formula, and the remaining life of the tube is predicted. Also discussed in this study are the effects of the tube modal characteristics, external flow velocity, and tube internal pressure on the estimated results of the remaining life of the tube.