From a crud deposition perspective the achievement of zero fuel failures requires the integration of core neutronics, core thermal-hydraulics, and plant chemistry disciplines. The various level of detail required in the assessment of crud risk is based on guidelines and a checklist developed and published by EPRI. In the guidelines EPRI defined two levels of assessment where core neutronics and thermal-hydraulics are coupled with plant chemistry. These two levels are called Levels III and IV in the EPRI guidelines.
AREVA developed a process using the standard licensing tools and a number of specialized application tools and interfaces that allow Level III and IV calculations. The Level III calculations are performed using a typical reload licensing subchannel node scale (scale of several centimeters) whereas the Level IV calculations are performed on fractions of a millimeter scale.
This paper provides an overview of the neutronics and thermal-hydraulic process used to perform Levels III and IV assessments and provides some results for a typical B&W-designed 177-fuel assembly operating plant. This same process could be applied to other plant types. The details of the plant chemistry process are not covered in this paper, as they are covered in other publications.