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Title: AGR-3/4 Irradiation Test Train Disassembly and Component Metrology First Look Report

The AGR-3/4 experiment was designed to study fission product transport within graphitic matrix material and nuclear-grade graphite. To this end, this experiment consisted of 12 capsules, each fueled with 4 compacts containing UCO TRISO particles as driver fuel and 20 UCO designed-to-fail (DTF) fuel particles in each compact. The DTF fuel was fabricated with a thin pyrocarbon layer which was intended to fail during irradiation and provide a source of fission products. These fission products could then migrate through the compact and into the surrounding concentric rings of graphitic matrix material and/or nuclear graphite. Through post-irradiation examination (PIE) of the rings (including physical sampling and gamma scanning) fission product concentration profiles within the rings can be determined. These data can be used to elucidate fission product transport parameters (e.g. diffusion coefficients within the test materials) which will be used to inform and refine models of fission product transport. After irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) had been completed in April 2014, the AGR-3/4 experiment was shipped to the Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) for inspection, disassembly, and metrology. The AGR-3/4 test train was received at MFC in two separate shipments between Februarymore » and April 2015. Visual examinations of the test train exterior did not indicate dimensional distortion, and only two small discolored areas were observed at the bottom of Capsules 8 and 9. No corresponding discoloration was found on the inside of these capsules, however. Prior to disassembly, the two test train sections were subject to analysis via the Precision Gamma Scanner (PGS), which did not indicate that any gross fuel relocation had occurred. A series of specialized tools (including clamps, cutters, and drills) had been designed and fabricated in order to carry out test train disassembly and recovery of capsule components (graphite rings and fuel compacts). This equipment performed well for separating each capsule in the test train and extracting the capsule components. Only a few problems were encountered. In one case, the outermost ring (the sink ring) was cracked during removal of the capsule through tubes. Although the sink ring will be analyzed in order to obtain a mass balance of fission products in the experiment, these cracks do not pose a major concern because the sink ring will not be analyzed in detail to obtain the spatial distribution of fission products. In Capsules 4 and 5, the compacts could not be removed from the inner rings. Strategies for removing the compacts are being evaluated. Sampling the inner rings with the compacts in-place is also an option. Dimensional measurements were made on the compacts, inner rings, outer rings, and sink rings. The diameters of all compacts decreased by 0.5 to 2.0 %. Generally, the extent of diametric shrinkage increased linearly with increasing neutron fluence. Most compact lengths also decreased. Compact lengths decreased with increasing fluence, reaching maximum shrinkage of about 0.9 % at a fast fluence of 4.0x1025 n/m2 E > 0.18 MeV. Above this fluence, the extent of length shrinkage appeared to decrease with fluence, and two compacts from Capsule 7 were found to have slightly increased in length (< 0.1 %) after a fluence of 5.2x1025 n/m2.« less
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  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS Advanced Gas Reactor; ART; Hot Fuel Examination Facility; outer diameter; post-irradiation examination; silicon carbide; TRISO