ASTRID is a project for an industrial prototype of a 600 MWe sodium cooled Fast Reactor, led by CEA. An important program is in progress for the development and the validation of numerical tools for the simulation of the dynamic mechanical behavior of the Fast Reactor cores, with both experimental and numerical parts. The cores are constituted of Fuel Assemblies (of FA) and Neutronic Shields (or NS) immersed in the primary coolant (sodium), which circulates inside the Fluid Assemblies. The FA and the NS are slender structures, which may be considered as beams, form a mechanical point of view.

The analysis of the dynamic behavior of tubes bundles immersed in a dense fluid is a major challenge in the nuclear industry (reactor cores, steam generators). In some cases, the excitation is given by the fluid flow, with a complex behavior which may lead to instabilities. The paper only considers the case of an external excitation (earthquake or shock). The fluid leads to two main effects: “inertial effects” with lower vibration frequencies and “dissipative effects” with a higher damping.

In the general case the fluid has to be described by the Navier-Stokes equations. It is possible to use the Euler linear equations in the case of vibrations of the tubes in a globally stagnant fluid. In all cases the modeling of the system could lead to huge numerical problems if each tube is described explicitly. Homogenization technics allow to limit the size of the problem.

Homogenization methods taking into account the Euler equations for the fluid have been developed, and widely used for analyses of the dynamic behavior of reactor cores. Only the inertial effects are theoretically described but the dissipative effects may be roughly taken into account by using a Rayleigh damping.

The paper presents an improvement of the method, allowing a better description of the dissipative effects, with a more general form of the expression of the forces exchanged between the fluid and the tubes. The theoretical basis of the numerical model are presented, as well as illustrations of the interest of the method: a better physical description is obtained for the dynamic behavior of the tubes bundle, particularly in the case of interactions with free fluid, without tubes.

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