M. Versão Carnieri - Development of vibrational technique for solicitation, measurement and [...]

Defense date : 30/10/2026

Associated team :
Materials and Structures

Keywords: Fuel-rods, non-linear vibrations, PCI, Fluid-structure interaction, RJH, ADELINE

Development of vibrational technique for solicitation, measurement and interpretation to characterize the interactions between components of a complex structure in an extreme environment: Evaluation of their application to measurement in the RJH nuclear reactor.

Context: The reactor core of a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) is the central part where nuclear fission reactions take place, generating heat to produce steam for power generation. The core contains multiple fuel assemblies consisting of cylindrical fuel rods filled with enriched uranium pellets. These pellets undergo fission, releasing energy in the form of heat. During reactor operation, there is initially a gap between the fuel rod cladding and the pellets.

As the reactor operates, the size of the pellets changes until they come into contact with the cladding. This interaction between the pellet and cladding, known as Pellet-Cladding Interaction (PCI), is influenced by the geometric configuration of the system. The PCI interaction is a major concern for maintaining the integrity of fuel rod cladding in PWRs. To prevent cladding failure, modeling techniques have improved over the years, but they require detailed and precise experimental data.

This PhD thesis aims to characterize the effect of pellet cladding contact on the damping of the structure in order to establish a relationship between the behavior of the structure and its internal state.

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