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Effective Thermal Conductivity and Edge Conductance Model for a Spent-Fuel Assembly

Randall D. Manteufel, Neil E. Todreas

Nuclear Technology

Volume 105 / Number 3 / March 1994 / Pages 421-440


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An effective thermal conductivity (keff) and an edge thermal conductance (hedge) model are developed for the interior and edge regions of a spent-fuel assembly residing in an enclosure. The model includes conductive and radiative modes of heat transfer. Predictions using the proposed keff/hedge model are compared with five sets of experimental data for validation. The model is compared with predictions generated by the engine maintenance, assembly, and disassembly (E-MAD) and Wooton-Epstein correlations, which represent the state of the art in this field. The model is applied to a typical pressurized water reactor and a typical boiling water reactor spent fuel assembly, and a set of both nonlinear and linear formulations of the model are derived. The proposed model is based on rigorous models of the governing heat transfer mechanisms and can be applied to a large range of assembly and enclosure types, enclosure temperatures, and assembly decay heat values. The proposed model is more accurate than comparable lumped correlations and is more amenable for simple, repetitive design applications than other detailed numerical models.

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