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Title: Improving Thermal Model Prediction Through Statistical Analysis of Irradiation and Post-Irradiation Data from AGR Experiments

As part of the High Temperature Reactors (HTR) R&D program, a series of irradiation tests, designated as Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR), have been defined to support development and qualification of fuel design, fabrication process, and fuel performance under normal operation and accident conditions. The AGR tests employ fuel compacts placed in a graphite cylinder shrouded by a steel capsule and instrumented with thermocouples (TC) embedded in graphite blocks enabling temperature control. While not possible to obtain by direct measurements in the tests, crucial fuel conditions (e.g., temperature, neutron fast fluence, and burnup) are calculated using core physics and thermal modeling codes. This paper is focused on AGR test fuel temperature predicted by the ABAQUS code's finite element-based thermal models. The work follows up on a previous study, in which several statistical analysis methods were adapted, implemented in the NGNP Data Management and Analysis System (NDMAS), and applied for qualification of AGR-1 thermocouple data. Abnormal trends in measured data revealed by the statistical analysis are traced to either measuring instrument deterioration or physical mechanisms in capsules that may have shifted the system thermal response. The main thrust of this work is to exploit the variety of data obtained in irradiation andmore » post-irradiation examination (PIE) for assessment of modeling assumptions. As an example, the uneven reduction of the control gas gap in Capsule 5 found in the capsule metrology measurements in PIE helps identify mechanisms other than TC drift causing the decrease in TC readings. This suggests a more physics-based modification of the thermal model that leads to a better fit with experimental data, thus reducing model uncertainty and increasing confidence in the calculated fuel temperatures of the AGR-1 test.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Engineering and Design; Journal Volume: 271
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS AGR; thermal model prediction