Abstract—Prediction of thermo-mechanical behavior of fuel element in a nuclear power plant is very much necessary to design and prevent the failure of element in operating conditions. In this work an attempt is made to find out the structural analysis of a fuel element in operating condition of a nuclear power plant. For structural analysis, first thermal analysis is carried out to find out the non-uniform temperature in fuel element, which is then used as a thermal load in structural analysis. The stress, strain and displacement of the fuel element are found out for different thickness of gap in between pellet and claddings. Then analysis is also carried out for different values of heat transfer co-efficient. From structural analysis it is found that though it is expanding due to thermal effects, it is within limit. A nuclear fuel rod of boiling water reactor is considered. Standard thermo-physical data are considered for study purposes. Separate governing equations are considered for pellet and cladding. Heat generation is considered only in the pellet. Since the height of the pellet is much larger than the diameter of rod axial distribution of temperature is neglected. That means heat transfer equations comes to one-dimensional form. The Finite Element Method (FEM) is used in ANSYS to descretize the computational domain. A coupled analysis is carried out to find out the temperature, heat flux, stress strain and thermal expansion.
Index Terms—clad, fuel element, gap, PCI, pellet, thermal expansion.
Cite: K. M. Pandey and Amrit Sarkar, "Structural Analysis of Nuclear Fuel Element with Ansys Software," International Journal of Engineering and Technology vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 187-192, 2011.