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A series of Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) irradiation tests is being conducted in the Advanced Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory in support of development and qualification of tristructural isotropic (TRISO) low enriched fuel used in the High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). Each AGR test consists of multiple independently controlled and monitored capsules containing fuel compacts placed in a graphite cylinder shrouded by a steel shell. These capsules are instrumented with thermocouples embedded in the graphite enabling temperature control. AGR configuration and irradiation conditions are based on prismatic HTGR technology distinguished primarily by the use of helium coolant, a low-power-density ceramic core capable of withstanding very high temperatures, and TRISO coated particle fuel. Thus, these tests provide valuable irradiation performance data to support fuel process development, qualify fuel for normal operating conditions, and support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes. The release-rate-to-birth-rate ratio (R/B) for each of fission product isotopes (i.e., krypton and xenon) is calculated from release rates in the sweep gas flow measured by the germanium detectors used in the AGR Fission Product Monitoring (FPM) System installed downstream from each irradiated capsule. Birth rates are calculated based on the fission powermore » in the experiment and fission product generation models. Thus, this R/B is a measure of the ability of fuel kernel, particle coating layers, and compact matrix to retain fission gas atoms preventing their release into the sweep gas flow, especially in the event of particle coating failures that occurred during AGR-2 and AGR-3/4 irradiations. The major factors that govern gaseous radioactive decay, diffusion, and release processes are found to be material diffusion coefficient, temperature, and isotopic decay constant. For each of all AGR capsules, ABAQUS-based three-dimensional finite-element thermal models are created to predict daily averages of fuel compact temperatures for the entire irradiation period, which are used in establishing the R/B correlation with temperature and decay constant. This correlation can be used by reactor designers to estimate fission gas release from postulated failed fuel particles in HTGR cores, which is the key safety factor for fuel performance assessment.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS AGR Releaset to Birth Ratio VHTR TDO High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) Tristructural Isotropic