Conference paper Open Access

Neutronic simulation of fuel assembly vibrations in a nuclear reactor

Vidal-Ferràndiz A., Carreño A., Ginestar D., Demazière C., and Verdú G.


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    <subfield code="a">Neutron noise, fuel assembly vibrations, neutron diffusion, frequency domain, time domain</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Mathematics &amp; Computational Methods Applied to Nuclear Science &amp; Engineering</subfield>
    <subfield code="c">Portland, Oregon, USA</subfield>
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    <subfield code="c">754316</subfield>
    <subfield code="a">Core monitoring techniques and experimental validation and demonstration</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;The mechanical vibrations of fuel assemblies have been shown to give rise to high levels&lt;br&gt;
of neutron noise, triggering in some circumstances the necessity to operate nuclear reactors&lt;br&gt;
at a reduced power level. This work simulates and analyses the effect in the neutron&lt;br&gt;
field of the oscillation of one single fuel assembly without considering thermal-hydraulic&lt;br&gt;
feedback. The amplitude of the fuel assembly vibration ranges from 0 to 1 millimetres&lt;br&gt;
and this implies the use of fine meshes and accurate numerical solvers. Results show&lt;br&gt;
two different effects in the neutron field caused by the fuel assembly vibration. First, a&lt;br&gt;
global slow variation of the total neutron power due to a change in the criticality of the&lt;br&gt;
system. Second, an in-phase change in the neutron flux with the assembly vibration. This&lt;br&gt;
second effect is more important and has a strong spatial dependence. This paper shows&lt;br&gt;
a comparison between a time domain analysis and a frequency domain analysis of the&lt;br&gt;
phenomena, in order to validate the time domain solution against the frequency domain&lt;br&gt;
solution. Numerical results shows a really close match between these two approaches.&lt;/p&gt;</subfield>
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