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Conduction in a Nuclear Fuel Rod

UPDATED: 02/21/2021

The workbook calculates the temperature distribution due to conduction in a geometry representative of a nuclear fuel rod.   This analytical solution includes volumetric heat generation from nuclear fission in the rod itself, contact resistance at the gap between the fuel pin and its cladding, conductive resistance of the Zircaloy cladding and convective resistance (=1/hA) at the outer surface where it is bathed by coolant.

Temperature as a function of radius in a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) fuel rod. The profile is convex up, as expected, in the heat generating zone; there is a temperature drop across the fuel-clad interface, another across the clad and a third representing the convective resistance.

Note the calculated temperature drop of some 1600K over a distance of about half a centimeter.  Certainly, the change in thermal conductivity must be included.

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