3D fuel cracking modelling in pellet cladding mechanical interactionFunded under: FP7-EURATOM
This study is concerned with the modelling of fuel behaviour and of pellet-cladding interaction (PCI). A new fuel software (PLEIADES) is currently co-developed by the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) and Electricité de France (EDF). This software includes a multi-dimensional FE program (ALCYONE) devoted to Pressure Water Reactors (PWR) fuel rods. PCI studies are mainly undertaken with the 3D model of ALCYONE. The objectives of this work are twofold: first, to propose a constitutive model for the fuel pellet which accounts for the stress relaxation of the material resulting from cracking and creep, second, to estimate the impact of the pellet cracking on PCI. In this paper, a mathematical formulation which couples a viscoplastic law for creep with a multi-surface plastic softening law for cracking is detailed, leading a two inelastic strains model. Mesh dependency is overcome thanks to a material parameter related to the finite element size. The 3D calculations of PCI presented in this paper show that the considered modelling of fuel cracking is consistent with the experimental knowledge available on crack development under irradiation. A parametric study is then presented which leads to the conclusion that the tangential stresses at the pellet cladding interface and hence the risk of PCI failure are significantly reduced when the fuel tensile strength is divided by two.
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Engineering Fracture Mechanics, Volume 75, Issue 11 (2008), 18 pp.
Availability: This article can be accessed online by subscribers, and can be ordered online by non-subscribers, at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engfracmech.2006.12.014
Record Number: 200910160 / Last updated on: 2009-01-23
Original language: en
Available languages: en