The structural reliability of layered cylinders such as clad nuclear reactor fuel rods, subjected to a thermal shock is investigated. Emergency cooling may reduce the temperature of rods from operating conditions to lower levels in seconds. The high rate of temperature change requires the solution of a coupled thermo-elasticity problem that takes into consideration the coupling effects of thermal and mechanical parameters but neglects thermal-dynamic interactions. The Fourier transform-inverse transform relationship between frequency response and impulse response is used to calculate stresses as well as the reliability of each layer. The “weakest link” principle which takes into consideration both the applied stress and the effected volume of material is employed in the reliability analysis.

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