Predicting Thermal Conductivity in Nuclear Fuels using Rattlesnake-Based Deterministic Phonon Transport Simulations Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mw22v804z

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  • The Boltzmann transport equation derived in the Self-Adjoint Angular Flux (SAAF) formulation is applied to simulate phonon transport. The neutron transport code Rattlesnake is leveraged in this fashion, slightly modi ed to accept input from variables consistent with phonon transport simulations. Several benchmark problems are modeled to assess the potential of this application to predict thermal conductivity in materials with heterogeneity and isotopic fission products affecting thermal transport. The 1-D, SAAF formulation of the Boltzmann transport equation for phonons is derived along with associated boundary conditions. Comparisons to phonon transport problems solved via deterministic, Monte Carlo (MC) and molecular dynamics (MD) methods are shown. Phonon intensity and heat flux are used to compute thermal conductivity in materials. Phonon transport with Rattlesnake using similar input conditions compares well to test problems in open literature. Transport is simulated in one and two element systems, with special emphasis on uranium dioxide (UO₂) with xenon cluster defects. Rattlesnake solutions show thermal conductivity in UO₂ decreasing by up to a factor of 4 at elevated temperatures. Transport behavior for these problems appears qualitatively correct, though lack of data for xenon properties yields results which deviate from MD simulations. Results are generally favorable, though the current deterministic phonon transport implementation does not include certain phonon scattering physics. Further development of Rattlesnake is discussed, with an emphasis on coupling with phase fields for better characterization of microstructure in nuclear fuel.
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