Post-irradiation examination (PIE) has indicated an increase in the outer diameter of fuel pins being irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) for the MOX irradiation program. The diameter increase is the largest in the region between fuel pellets. The fuel pellet was modeled using PATRAN and the model was evaluated using ABAQUS, version 6.2. The results from the analysis indicate the non-uniform clad diameter is caused by interaction between the fuel pellet and the clad. The results also demonstrate that the interaction is not uniform over the pellet axial length, with the largest interaction occurring in the region of the pellet-pellet interface. Results were obtained for an axi-symmetric model and for a 1/8 pie shaped segment, using the coupled temperature-displacement solution technique.

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