Description: A powerful multidimensional fuels performance capability, applicable to both steady and transient fuel behavior, is developed based on enhancements to the commercially available ABAQUS general-purpose thermomechanics code. Enhanced capabilities are described, including: UO2 temperature and burnup dependent thermal properties, solid and gaseous fission product swelling, fuel densification, fission gas release, cladding thermal and irradiation creep, cladding irradiation growth , gap heat transfer, and gap/plenum gas behavior during irradiation. The various modeling capabilities are demonstrated using a 2D axisymmetric analysis of the upper section of a simplified multi-pellet fuel rod, during both steady and transient operation. Computational results demonstrate the importance of a multidimensional fully-coupled thermomechanics treatment. Interestingly, many of the inherent deficiencies in existing fuel performance codes (e.g., 1D thermomechanics, loose thermo-mechanical coupling, separate steady and transient analysis, cumbersome pre- and post-processing) are, in fact, ABAQUS strengths.
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: Williamson, R. L. & Knoll, D. A.
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