A numerical investigation was performed to study the variation in axial velocity profiles occurring downstream of the inlet nozzle region of Nuclear PWR fuel assemblies. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models were prepared for the inlet nozzle region of a section of fuel assembly, simulating the lower support plate located under the fuel assembly, the inlet nozzle of the fuel and the downstream fuel region. Two different nozzle designs were modeled to study how each nozzle impacts the dissipation of the jet velocity profiles occurring downstream of the nozzle. The two different nozzle designs included a standard round chamfered hole flow plate and a chamfered slotted flow plate. The evaluation of the axial velocity profiles occurring downstream of the nozzle flow plate is critical in understanding the fuel rod vibration and rod fretting in the first grid span. Excessive rod vibration in this region can occur due to high axial jet velocities and steep axial velocity gradients generated from the holes in the lower support plate. The excessive rod vibration can lead to fuel rod wear and fuel failure. Axial velocity profiles were predicted for the different nozzle designs using the CFX code. These velocity profiles were compared to air test velocity measurements for the same nozzle designs. Velocity measurements were made in a 3.763/1 over-scale air test section simulating a 6×6 rod array of the inlet nozzle region and downstream fuel region. Reasonable agreement was observed between the velocity measurements and CFD model predictions. The results also indicate that nozzle flow plate geometry can have a significant affect on the dissipation of the jet axial velocity profiles and the steepness of the axial velocity gradients downstream on the inlet nozzle. The application of CFD tools can be used to optimize the inlet nozzle geometry to better dissipate jets and reduce axial velocity gradients downstream of the nozzle at a minimal increase in pressure drop. This will help reduce fuel rod vibration and rod fretting.
- Nuclear Engineering Division
Comparison of CFD Model Velocity Profiles to Test Data for Inlet Nozzle Region of Nuclear PWR Fuel Assemblies
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Karoutas, ZE, Liu, B, Dzodzo, M, & Joffre, PF. "Comparison of CFD Model Velocity Profiles to Test Data for Inlet Nozzle Region of Nuclear PWR Fuel Assemblies." Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering. Volume 4: Computational Fluid Dynamics, Neutronics Methods and Coupled Codes; Student Paper Competition. Miami, Florida, USA. July 17–20, 2006. pp. 165-173. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICONE14-89322
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