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Measurement of Thermal Diffusivity of a Nuclear Fuel Rod by Thermal Wave Method Based on Green Function

Xiang, Jingbo (2020) Measurement of Thermal Diffusivity of a Nuclear Fuel Rod by Thermal Wave Method Based on Green Function. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The knowledge of thermal property change of nuclear fuel as a function of fuel burnup is essential for the design, operation and safety of nuclear power plants. However, there is a critical data gap in metallic fuels for advanced reactors. Ideally, fuel thermal property is measured in a reactor to reflect the neutronics heating and irradiation environment. In the thesis, a method of measuring thermal diffusivity of a nuclear fuel rod by thermal wave method based on Green function is developed and a related lab test experiment is also developed. This measurement method focuses on a surrogate fuel-heat sink couple using Joule-heating generated fuel layer, which is contained in heat sink, without breaking the container of the fuel. In addition, in the test experiment, a plate model has been used to simulate nuclear fuel rods, based on the same 1D heat transfer theory, with controllable thermal contact. AC current is applied to generate heat in the fuel layer and an IR video camera is used to measure the phase difference of temperature change between fuel layer and heat sink. The sample design is based on the sensitivity analysis result. In the experiment, the control of thermal contact resistance between fuel layer is proven to be important to the measurement. The theoretical work and computational simulation provided measurement sensitivity maps to optimize the experiment design and the experimental data showed, if the thermal resistance is controlled or minimized, the novel measurement method can be used in a reactor with further design optimizations.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Xiang, Jingbojix92@pitt.edujix92
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBan,
Committee MemberWang,
Committee MemberGaldi, Giovanni
Date: 29 July 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 April 2020
Approval Date: 29 July 2020
Submission Date: 6 April 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 62
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Mechanical Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: measurement method, diffusivity, nuclear fuel rod, thermal wave, green function
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2020 19:07
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2020 19:07


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