S. Mohanty, R. Jain, S. Majumdar, T. J. Tautges, and M. Srinivasan, "Coupled Field-Structural Analysis of HTGR Fuel Brick Using Abaqus," Preprint ANL/MCS-P2008-0112, January 2012. [pdf]
High-temperature, gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) are usually helium-gas cooled, with a graphite core that can operate at reactor outlet temperatures much higher than can conventional light water reactors In HTGRs, graphite components moderate and reflect neutrons. During reactor operation, high temperature and high irradiation cause damage to the graphite crystal and grains and create other defects. This cumulative structural damage during the reactor lifetime leads to changes in graphite properties, which can alter the ability to support the designed loads. The aim of the present research is to develop a finite-element code using commercially available ABAQUS software for the structural integrity analysis of graphite core components under extreme temperature and irradiation conditions. In addition, the Reactor Geometry Generator toolkit, developed at Argonne National Laboratory, is used to generate finite-element mesh for complex geometries such as fuel bricks with multiple pin holes and coolant flow channels. This paper presents the proposed concept and discusses results of stress analysis simulations of a fuel block with H-451 grade material properties.