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Title: Meso-scale modeling of irradiated concrete in test reactor

In this paper, we detail a numerical model accounting for the effects of neutron irradiation on concrete at the mesoscale. Irradiation experiments in test reactor (Elleuch et al.,1972), i.e., in accelerated conditions, are simulated. Concrete is considered as a two-phase material made of elastic inclusions (aggregate) subjected to thermal and irradiation-induced swelling and embedded in a cementitious matrix subjected to shrinkage and thermal expansion. The role of the hardened cement paste in the post-peak regime (brittle-ductile transition with decreasing loading rate), and creep effects are investigated. Radiation-induced volumetric expansion (RIVE) of the aggregate cause the development and propagation of damage around the aggregate which further develops in bridging cracks across the hardened cement paste between the individual aggregate particles. The development of damage is aggravated when shrinkage occurs simultaneously with RIVE during the irradiation experiment. The post-irradiation expansion derived from the simulation is well correlated with the experimental data and, the obtained damage levels are fully consistent with previous estimations based on a micromechanical interpretation of the experimental post-irradiation elastic properties (Le Pape et al.,2015). In conclusion, the proposed modeling opens new perspectives for the interpretation of test reactor experiments in regards to the actual operation of light water reactors.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Czech Technical University (Czech Republic)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 295; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS irradiation; concrete; numerical model; meso-scale; neutron; swelling; damage