A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was performed to investigate the coolant mixing in a nuclear fuel bundle that is promoted by the mixing vane on the grid spacer. Single and multiple subchannels of one grid span of the fuel bundle were modeled to simulate a 5×5 rod array experiment with the mixing vane. The three-dimensional CFD models were generated by a structured multi-block method. The standard k-ε turbulence model was used in the current CFD simulation since it is practically useful and converges well for the complex turbulent flow in a nuclear fuel bundle. The CFD predictions of axial and lateral mean flow velocities showed a somewhat large difference from the experimental results near the spacer but represented the overall characteristics of coolant mixing well in a nuclear fuel bundle with the mixing vane. Comparison of single and multiple subchannel predictions shows good agreement of the flow characteristics in the central subchannel of the rod array. The simulation of multiple subchannels shows a slightly off-centered swirl in the peripheral subchannels due to the external wall of the rod array. It also shows no significant swirl and crossflow in the wall subchannels and the corner subchannels.

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