Assessment of PCMI Simulation Using the Multidimensional Multiphysics BISON Fuel Performance Code Page: 2 of 8
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Assessment of PCMI Simulation Using the Multidimensional
Multiphysics BISON Fuel Performance Code
S. R. NOVASCONE, J. D. HALES, B. W. SPENCER, R. L. WILLIAMSON
Fuels Modelling and Simulation Department, Idaho National Laboratory
PO Box 1625, MS 0340, Idaho Falls, ID 83415-0340 - USA
Since 2008, the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been developing a next-
generation nuclear fuel performance code called BISON. BISON is built using INL's
Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment, named MOOSE. MOOSE is a
massively parallel, finite element-based framework to solve systems of fully coupled
non-linear partial differential equations using the Jacobian-Free Newton Krylov (JFNK)
method. MOOSE supports the use of complex two- and three-dimensional meshes and
uses implicit time integration, which is important for the widely varied time scales in
nuclear fuel simulation.
BISON has been applied to various nuclear fuel problems to assess the
accuracy of its 2D and 3D capabilities. The benchmark measurements presented here
are from two well-known and documented reactor experiments. The first is the Riso3
Fission Gas Project, referred to as "Bump Test GE7", which was performed on rod
ZX115. Bump Test GE7 consists of a base-irradiation period of a full-length rod in the
Quad-Cities-1 BWR. The base irradiation test is followed by a "bump test" of a sub-
section of the original rod, where the power is increased rapidly, which takes place in
the test reactor DR3 at Riso in a water-cooled HP1 rig under BWR conditions. The
second test is of a segmented PWR rod base-irradiated in the Electricity of France
(EDF) commercial reactors. The segment was then re-fabricated and ramp-tested in
the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) OSIRIS
reactor to investigate PCMI resistance. These experiments were chosen because they
allow for an evaluation of several aspects of the code, including fully coupled thermo-
mechanics, contact, and several nonlinear material models.
BISON simulations of the bump tests were run using smeared pellet geometry.
Comparisons between these calculations and experimental measurements are
presented for clad diameter after the base irradiation and after a large power ramp.
Preliminary comparisons between calculations and measurements are favourable,
supporting the use of BISON as an accurate multiphysics fuel simulation tool.
Fuel rod failure due to pellet-clad mechanical interaction (PCMI) can happen for a variety of
reasons and is an active area of research and investigation. When used properly, nuclear fuel
performance simulation software can be helpful in studying PCMI and fuel rod design. An
assessment of how well simulation software performs can be effective for determining how best
to interpret and use simulation results. In this paper, a relatively new fuel performance code
called BISON  is used to simulate two well-documented experiments that include PCMI
measurements of fuel rod diameter before and after a large power ramp.
BISON is a nuclear fuel performance code developed at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL),
which is built on the MOOSE (Multi-physics Object Oriented Simulation Environment) code ,
also developed at the INL. MOOSE is a massively parallel, finite element-based framework that
is used to solve systems of coupled non-linear partial differential equations using the Jacobian-
Free Newton Krylov (JFNK) method. MOOSE supports the use of complex two- and three-
dimensional meshes and uses implicit time integration, which is important for the widely varied
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Novascone, Stephen R.; Hales, Jason D.; Spencer, Benjamin W. & Williamson, Richard L. Assessment of PCMI Simulation Using the Multidimensional Multiphysics BISON Fuel Performance Code, article, September 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc844984/m1/2/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.