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Title: Ceramic nuclear fuel fracture modeling with the extended finite element method

Abstract

Ceramic fuel pellets used in nuclear light water reactors experience significant fracture due to the high thermal gradients experienced under normal operating conditions. This has important effects on the performance of the fuel system. Because of this, a realistic, physically based fracture modeling capability is essential to predict fuel behavior in a wide variety of normal and off-normal conditions. The extended finite element method (X-FEM) is a powerful method to represent arbitrary propagating discrete cracks in finite element models, and has many characteristics that make it attractive for nuclear fuel performance analysis. This paper describes the implementation of X-FEM in a multiphysics fuel performance code and presents applications of that capability. These applications include several thermal mechanics fracture benchmark problems, which demonstrate the accuracy of this approach. It also includes application of this capability to study nuclear fuel fracture, both on stationary and propagating cracks. The study on stationary cracks shows the effects that varying the number of radial cracks and the length of those cracks have on the energy release rate. Here, the propagating crack case demonstrates random initiation and subsequent propagation of interacting thermally induced cracks during an initial ramp to full power with fresh fuel.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Duke Univ., Durham, NC (United States). Civil and Environmental Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE); Idaho National Laboratory LDRD
OSTI Identifier:
1575375
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1775732
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-18-44950-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-7944; TRN: US2001147
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Engineering Fracture Mechanics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 223; Journal ID: ISSN 0013-7944
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; extended finite element method; thermal-mechanics; fuel fracture

Citation Formats

Jiang, Wen, Spencer, Benjamin W., and Dolbow, John E. Ceramic nuclear fuel fracture modeling with the extended finite element method. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engfracmech.2019.106713.
Jiang, Wen, Spencer, Benjamin W., & Dolbow, John E. Ceramic nuclear fuel fracture modeling with the extended finite element method. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engfracmech.2019.106713
Jiang, Wen, Spencer, Benjamin W., and Dolbow, John E. Thu . "Ceramic nuclear fuel fracture modeling with the extended finite element method". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.engfracmech.2019.106713. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1575375.
@article{osti_1575375,
title = {Ceramic nuclear fuel fracture modeling with the extended finite element method},
author = {Jiang, Wen and Spencer, Benjamin W. and Dolbow, John E.},
abstractNote = {Ceramic fuel pellets used in nuclear light water reactors experience significant fracture due to the high thermal gradients experienced under normal operating conditions. This has important effects on the performance of the fuel system. Because of this, a realistic, physically based fracture modeling capability is essential to predict fuel behavior in a wide variety of normal and off-normal conditions. The extended finite element method (X-FEM) is a powerful method to represent arbitrary propagating discrete cracks in finite element models, and has many characteristics that make it attractive for nuclear fuel performance analysis. This paper describes the implementation of X-FEM in a multiphysics fuel performance code and presents applications of that capability. These applications include several thermal mechanics fracture benchmark problems, which demonstrate the accuracy of this approach. It also includes application of this capability to study nuclear fuel fracture, both on stationary and propagating cracks. The study on stationary cracks shows the effects that varying the number of radial cracks and the length of those cracks have on the energy release rate. Here, the propagating crack case demonstrates random initiation and subsequent propagation of interacting thermally induced cracks during an initial ramp to full power with fresh fuel.},
doi = {10.1016/j.engfracmech.2019.106713},
journal = {Engineering Fracture Mechanics},
number = ,
volume = 223,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

Journal Article:

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Use of the mesh cutting algorithm to modify a mesh and with appropriate element connectivities for use with the phantom node algorithm to represent Heaviside discontinuities arising from a prescribed crack.

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