In the frame of the GEN IV Forum and of the ASTRID Project, a program is in progress in the CEA (France) 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 (or FA) and Neutronic Shields (or NS) immersed in the primary coolant (sodium), which circulates inside the Fuel Assemblies. The FA and the NS are slender structures, inserted in a grid plate, which may be considered as beams form a mechanical point of view. The dynamic behavior of this system has to be understood, for design and safety studies.
This dynamic behavior of the core is strongly influenced by the sodium and by contacts between the beams at the pads level and at the top. The fluid leads to complex interactions between the structures in the whole core. The contacts between the beams limit the relative displacements.
Two main movements have been considered so far: global horizontal movements under a seismic excitation, and opening of the core.
Physical and numerical methods and tools have been developed to describe and simulate the dynamic behavior. These methods are integrated in CAST3M, general computer code developed at the CEA Saclay. The assemblies are modeled as beams. The impacts at the pads between the assemblies are taken into account by using a nonlinear model. The Fluid Structure Interaction is taken into account by using homogenization methods.
This paper is devoted to the improvement of these methods to take into account the vertical component of a seismic excitation. The key points are:
- the fluid structure coupling in the vertical direction,
- the modification of the description of the impacts to take into account the vertical displacements of the assemblies,
- the modification of the boundary condition at the foot of the assembly, in order to take into account the uplift with a nonlinear model.