This Paper presents an improved estimation of reactor core baffle temperature distribution, during operation, at the nominal power level to address swelling problems of the reactor internals. Swelling is the main limiting factor in the reactor core internals long term operation of VVER-1000 nuclear units. The material irradiation-induced swelling and creep models are very sensitive to temperature distribution in metal, thus a more detailed analysis of the core baffle metal thermohydraulic cooling characteristics is required. A framework for CFD analysis of VVER-1000 reactor baffle cooling is presented. Firstly, an analytical model was developed to obtain boundary conditions and simplify CFD analysis. Secondly, the CFD analysis was performed using 60 - degree symmetry, which included: core, baffle and core barrel, it is limited by the height of the baffle. Core is simplified as an equivalent coolant domain with considering of spatial volumetric energy release. Core baffle is presented as monolithic body with considering of gamma-ray heat generation. Model includes cooling ribs and simplified geometry of connecting studs, with cooling flow of the coolant through the nuts grooves. Calculated convection coefficient and temperature are in good agreement with analytical model, and give a more accurate result comparing to RELAP5/mod3.2. Obtained temperature field was used to estimate baffle swelling process and justify safe long term operation of the reactor internals.

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