The reactor coolant pump (RCP) in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) plant generates pressure pulsations at multiple frequencies. These pressure pulsations excite the acoustic modes inside the reactor vessel (RV), and cause significant acoustic loads on the reactor internals (RIs). For verifying the structural integrity of the RIs, it is important to predict the acoustic loads, which is used for vibration analysis of the RIs. Traditionally, an analytical method, assuming that structures are rigid, has been used in order to predict the acoustic pressure distributions inside the RV . However, water in actual PWR plant is heavy enough to influence structural response, so that it is required to use methods for a coupled structural acoustic system.
In this article, the coupled structural-acoustic analysis using the commercial software ANSYS is proposed in order to predict the acoustic loads, and the applicability of this method is discussed. The structural-acoustic interactions inside the RV are investigated by element tests and the scale model test. The acoustic pressures measured by these tests are compared with the calculated results.