Simulation and Analysis of the Delivery Machine in a Sagged Nuclear Fuel Channel

In CANDU nuclear reactors, the pressure tube (PT) of a fuel channel will progressively sag, elongate and expand in diameter due to creep and growth of the tube wall. The AECL designed Advanced Delivery Machine (ADM), which is used to deliver fuel channel inspection tools and consists of three straight ram tubes (RTs), must be qualified for use at the end-of-life fuel channel configuration. During inspections, significant contacts occur between the straight RTs and the sagged PT. In this paper, a finite-element model is developed using ANSYS to simulate the inspection processes and the contact situations. The results show reasonable RT-PT behaviours and interactions, as well as acceptable stresses on both the PT and the RTs. Comparisons between analytical results and experimental data also validate the ANSYS model.
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