To investigate the effect of cooling on the thermo-mechanical behavior of U-10Mo fuel plate during shutdown step, Finite Element (FE) analysis was performed on the plate L1P756 from RERTR-12 experiments . Changes in cooling rates were simulated by varying the coolant velocity on the two sides of the plate. Since coolant velocity was directly related to heat transfer coefficient (hc), different cooling velocities have been implemented by changing heat transfer coefficient corresponding to coolant velocity ranging from 10% to 200% of the baseline coolant velocity. Also, this study investigated the effect of strain rate on residual stresses of the mini-plates, which may be caused by the cooling rate.
From numerical analysis results, it was found that cooling time increases as the coolant velocity decreases. It was observed that the cooling time is seven times longer if the coolant velocity is reduced 90%. A plate with two times faster coolant than the baseline reduced the cooling time by half of the original cooling time. As the cooling proceeded, von Mises stress was being increased in the plate and the highest stress at a certain time during the shutdown period was observed in the plate with the fastest coolant flow. However, no difference in residual stress was found at all different cooling rates at the end of the shutdown step. For strain rate effect analysis, the maximum strain rate was calculated to be 3 s−1 as soon as the cooling was started and the strain rate drastically decreased close to zero. The change of strain rate in time was found the same in all cases with different cooling rates. Therefore, it turned out that the cooling rate did not affect the residual stress of the cladding considered in this study.