Title: Modular 3-D solid finite element model for fatigue analyses of a PWR coolant system
Authors: GARRIDO Oriol CostaCIZELJ LeonSIMONOVSKI IGOR
Citation: NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN vol. 246 no. May 2012 p. 115-122
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC66779
ISSN: 0029-5493
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0029549311005218
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC66779
DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2011.06.038
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The extension of operational licenses of second generation pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plants depends to a large extent on the analyses of fatigue usage of the reactor coolant pressure boundary. The reliable estimation of the fatigue usage requires detailed thermal and stress analyses of the affected components. Analyses, based upon the in-service transient loads should be compared to the loads analyzed at the design stage. The thermal and stress transients can be efficiently analyzed using the finite element method. This requires that a 3-D solid model of a given system is discretized with finite elements (FE). The FE mesh density is crucial for both the accuracy and the cost of the analysis. The main goal of the paper is to propose a set of computational tools which assist a user in a deployment of modular spatial FE model of main components of a typical reactor coolant system, e.g. pipes, pressure vessels and pumps. The modularity ensures that the components can be analyzed individually or in a system. Also, individual components can be meshed with different mesh densities, as required by the specifics of the particular transient studied. For optimal accuracy, all components are meshed with hexahedral elements with quadratic interpolation. The performance of the model is demonstrated with simulations performed with a complete two-loop PWR reactor coolant system (RCS). Heat transfer analysis and stress analysis for a complete loading and unloading cycle of the RCS are performed. The main results include expected ranges of fatigue loading for the pipe lines and coolant pump components under the given conditions.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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