Thermal conductivity modeling of unrestructured sphere pac nuclear fuels Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m326m4276

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  • In order to properly model the temperature distribution of a nuclear fuel pin, the thermal conductivity of the fuel must be known. For sphere pac fuel, the modeling of the conductivity is complicated due to the fact that the fuel is a collection of spheres in a random packed bed. Current models used to calculate the thermal conductivity of sphere pac fuel treat the fuel pin as having a constant packing factor across the pin diameter, ignoring boundary effects. The models also neglect the effects of neighboring spheres which do not contact each other. Analysis of previously manufactured sphere pac fuel pins has shown that the packing factor of spheres in cylinders can be treated as consisting of two regions; the boundary region, in which packing is based on local wall curvature, and the infinite bed region, where packing is assumed that of an infinite bed of spheres. Two sets of "unit cells" were developed to model the heat flow in these two regions. In addition to the boundary region of large spheres near the clad, the effects of fine spheres bordering on a large sphere was included. The thermal conductivities obtained from these,models was compared to data from previous sphere pac thermal conductivity experiments. The match between experimental data and predictions was good for single size fraction data and matched reasonably well for binary fuel in comparison to current models modified to account for cell orientation effects.
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