The internal core baffle structure of a PWR consists in baffles and formers attached to the barrel. Each baffle being independent, the connection between the core baffle sheets, the formers and the core barrel is done thanks to a large number of bolts (about 1500). After inspection, some baffle bolts have been found cracked. This behaviour is attributed to Irradiation Assisted Stress Corrosion Cracking (IASCC). In order to compute accurately the temperature distribution affecting these bolts, EDF has set up a research program. Due to symmetry reasons, only a 45° sector has been accounted for. The three-dimensionnal neutron flux and the gamma induced internal heating are calculated with a Monte-Carlo particle transport code named Tripoli-4. The by-pass flow inside the cavities is computed with the CFD code Code_Saturne with a finite volume technique. Finally, the temperature distribution inside the structure (including all bolts which leads to a considerable solid mesh size — about 236 millions tetraedra) is computed by the thermal code Syrthes using a finite element approach, taking into account both the heating due to the gamma heating deposit and the cooling by the by-pass flow. Calculations show that the solid thermal field obtained exhibit strong temperature gradients and high temperature levels but in very limited zones located inside the material. As expected mainly very limited regions located inside the material and near the corner close to the reactor center are exposed to high temperature levels. On the other hand, calculations clearly confirm that external bolts thightening the core barrel and the formers see temperature much lower than those thightening the baffles.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.