CANDU Fuel Bundle Deformation Model

The CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium) nuclear power plant is of the pressure tube type that utilizes heavy water as a coolant and moderator. As with other thermal power plants, nuclear fuel produces heat that is subsequently converted into electrical energy. The CANFLEX fuel bundle consists of forty-three fuel elements which contain natural uranium in the form of cylindrical pellets of sintered uranium dioxide. Fission reactions in the natural uranium fuel produce heat that is removed by a flow of pressurized heavy water coolant. This heat is transferred to light water in steam generators to produce steam which drives turbines that generates electricity. A finite-element model of the CANFLEX fuel bundle was developed using ANSYS. The application of this model is the prediction of the overall geometrical deformation of the bundle as a response to a given thermal/mechanical load that may occur under accident transient conditions. This paper summarizes the finite-element fuel bundle deformation model and the testing done on components.

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