Numerically Predicting Horizontally Oriented Spent Fuel Rod Surface Temperatures

by S. D. Wix, Gram Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
J. A. Koski, Gram Inc, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


A comparison between numerical calculations with use of commercial thermal analysis software packages and experimental data simulating a horizontally oriented spent fuel rod array was performed. Twelve cases were analyzed using air and helium for the fill gas, with three different heat dissipation levels. The numerically predicted temperatures are higher than the experimental data for all levels of heat dissipation with air as the fill gas. The temperature differences are 4?C and 23?C for the low heat dissipation and high heat dissipation, respectively. The temperature predictions using helium as a fill gas are lower than the experimental data for the low and medium heat dissipation levels. The temperature predictions are 1?C and 6?C lower than the experimental data for the low and medium heat dissipation, respectively. For the high heat dissipation level, the temperature predictions are 16 ?C higher than the experimental data. Differences between the predicted and experimental temperatures can be attributed to several factors. These factors include experimental uncertainty in the temperature and heat dissipation measurements, actual convection effects not included in the model, and axial heat flow in the experimental data. This work demonstrates that horizontally oriented spent fuel rod surface temperature predictions can be made using existing commercial software packages. This work also shows that end effects, such as axial heat transfer through the spent fuel rods, will be increasingly important as the amount of dissipated heat increases.

Subject Headings: Temperature effects | Fuels | Nuclear power | Thermal analysis | Rods | Numerical models | Computer software

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