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Kyle Jones

Kyle  Jones

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

PhD Student

Contact Information


CFD Validation, Natural Convection in Fuel Rod Bundles. Major Professor:  Dr. Barton Smith


When nuclear fuel is initially removed from a commercial reactor, it is placed in a “spent fuel pool.” Decay heat is constantly generated from the spent fuel at a rate that falls exponentially over time, removed circulating water in the spent fuel pools. High fidelity experiments on natural convection through a portion of a fuel assembly model will be used as Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) validation data.

Using a simplified fuel assembly model, we can simulate natural convection released from the fuel in the case of a loss of coolant accident or dry cask storage. We will vary not only the heat emitted from the rods but also the assembly rod pitch and grid swirl elements. Data will be acquired using state-of-the-art Particle Image Velocimtery (PIV) techniques as well as data acquisition of rod temperatures and wind tunnel pressure data in the Rotatable Buoyancy Tunnel (RoBuT) facility. The data acquired from this experiment will be uploaded to a server at the Idaho National Lab for use by researchers around the world that require validation of CFD models and solvers. A blind study will also be performed by our National Lab partners for validation of the model.