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Development and Validation of ARKAS_cellule: An Advanced Core-Bowing Analysis Code for Fast Reactors

Hirokazu Ohta, Takeshi Yokoo, Masatoshi Nakagawa, Shinichiro Matsuyama

Nuclear Technology

Volume 146 / Number 2 / May 2004 / Pages 131-142


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An advanced analysis code, ARKAS_cellule, has been developed to determine the core distortion and the mechanical behavior of fast reactors. In this code, each hexagonal subassembly duct is represented by a folded thin plate structure divided into a user-specified number of shell elements so that the interduct contact forms and the cross-sectional distortion effect of each duct are properly taken into account. In this paper, the numerical model of the ARKAS_cellule code is introduced, and the analytical results for two validation problems are presented. From a single duct compaction analysis, the first validation problem, it is clarified that the new analytical model is applicable to simulating the change of duct compaction stiffness that depends on the loading conditions such as the loading pad forms and the number of contact faces. The second validation analysis has been conducted by comparison with the experimental values obtained by the National Nuclear Corporation Limited in the United Kingdom using the core restraint uniplanar experimental rig (CRUPER), an ex-reactor rig in which a cluster of 91 short ducts is compressed by 30 movable peripheral rams toward the center of the cluster in seven stages. The analysis clarified that the predictions obtained using ARKAS_cellule agree well with the measured ram loads and interwrapper gap widths during the compaction sequence. One may conclude that ARKAS_cellule is valid for quantitative analysis of the core mechanical behavior and will be particularly useful for the evaluation of transient deformation of core assemblies during accidents in which the distortion of loading pads have important effects on obtaining favorable reactivity feedback.

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