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Title: BISON Fuel Performance Analysis of FeCrAl cladding with updated properties

In order to improve the accident tolerance of light water reactor (LWR) fuel, alternative cladding materials have been proposed to replace zirconium (Zr)-based alloys. Of these materials, there is a particular focus on iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys due to much slower oxidation kinetics in high-temperature steam than Zr-alloys. This should decrease the energy release due to oxidation and allow the cladding to remain integral longer in the presence of high temperature steam, making accident mitigation more likely. As a continuation of the development for these alloys, suitability for normal operation must also be demonstrated. This research is focused on modeling the integral thermo-mechanical performance of FeCrAl cladded fuel during normal reactor operation. Preliminary analysis has been performed to assess FeCrAl alloys (namely Alkrothal 720 and APMT) as a suitable fuel cladding replacement for Zr-alloys, using the MOOSE-based, finite-element fuel performance code BISON and the best available thermal-mechanical and irradiation-induced constitutive properties. These simulations identify the effects of the mechanical-stress and irradiation response of FeCrAl and provide a comparison with Zr-alloys. In comparing these clad materials, fuel rods have been simulated for normal reactor operation and simple steady-state operation. Normal reactor operating conditions target the cladding performance over the rod lifetime (~4more » cycles) for the highest-power rod in the highest-power fuel assembly under reactor power maneuvering. The power histories and axial temperature profiles input into BISON were generated from a neutronics study on full-core reactivity equivalence for FeCrAl using the 3D full core simulator NESTLE. Evolution of the FeCrAl cladding behavior over time is evaluated by using steady-state operating conditions such as a simple axial power profile, a constant cladding surface temperature, and a constant fuel power history. The fuel rod designs and operating conditions used are based off the Peach Bottom BWR and design consideration was given to minimize the neutronic penalty of the FeCrAl cladding by changing fuel enrichment and cladding thickness. As this study progressed, systematic parametric analysis of the fuel and cladding creep responses were also performed.« less
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
AF5810000; NEAF278
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5). Advanced Fuels Campaign
Country of Publication:
United States