This paper presents calculations performed to determine the critical flow velocity for plate collapse due to static instability for the Gas Test Loop booster fuel assembly. Long, slender plates arranged in a parallel configuration can experience static divergence and collapse at sufficiently high coolant flow rates. Such collapse was exhibited by the Oak Ridge High Flux Reactor in the 1940s and the Engineering Test Reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory in the 1950s. Theoretical formulas outlined by Miller, based upon wide-beam theory and Bernoulli’s equation, were used for the analysis. Calculations based upon Miller’s theory show that the actual coolant flow velocity is only 6% of the predicted critical flow velocity. Since there is a considerable margin between the theoretically predicted plate collapse velocity and the design velocity, the phenomena of plate collapse due to static instability is unlikely.

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