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VITRAN Code – PWR Nuclear Fuel Rod Flow Induced Vibration Simulations
Roger Lu, Zeses Karoutas

Last modified: 2018-05-01


Grid-to-Rod Fretting (GTRF) wear due to flow and acoustic induced vibration is one of the main causes of fuel rod leaking in PWR reactors. Significant design improvements for Westinghouse PWRs have been made to eliminate this cause. GTRF is a very complicated combination of several physical phenomena, which include flow turbulence excitation, nonlinear fuel rod vibration in gapped supports and fretting wear process (tribology). Developing fuel rod vibration and fretting simulation code and methodology have been challenge tasks for researchers and engineers who are working in this field. This paper presents fuel rod vibration simulation with VITRAN code. VITRAN (Vibration Transient Analysis Non-linear) is a special code developed by Westinghouse. The code is used to simulate non-linear vibration of a nuclear fuel rod and dynamic interaction between the fuel rod and supports in time domain. The simulation results are compared with fuel rod vibration test results from a full scale fuel assembly test hydraulic loop. The Simulation cases for fuel rod vibration due to turbulent flow and pump pulsation excitations are presented in the paper.


turbulence; pump pulsation

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