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Title: A Validation Study of Pin Heat Transfer for MOX Fuel Based on the IFA-597 Experiments

Abstract The IFA-597 (Integrated Fuel Assessment) experiments from the International Fuel Performance Experiments (IFPE) database were designed to study the thermal behavior of mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and the effects of an annulus on fission gas release in light-water-reactor fuel. An evaluation of nuclear fuel pin heat transfer in the FRAPCON-3.4 and Exnihilo codes for MOX fuel systems was performed, with a focus on the first 20 time steps ( 6 GWd/MT(iHM)) for explicit comparison between the codes. In addition, sensitivity studies were performed to evaluate the effect of the radial power shape and approximations to the geometry to account for the thermocouple hole, dish, and chamfer. The analysis demonstrated relative agreement for both solid (rod 1) and annular (rod 2) fuel in the experiment, demonstrating the accuracy of the codes and their underlying material models for MOX fuel, while also revealing a small energy loss artifact in how gap conductance is currently handled in Exnihilo for chamfered fuel pellets. The within-pellet power shape was shown to significantly impact the predicted centerline temperatures. This has provided an initial benchmarking of the pin heat transfer capability of Exnihilo for MOX fuel with respect to a well-validated nuclear fuel performance code.
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Science and Engineering; Journal Volume: 178; Journal Issue: 2
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States