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Title: The Development of Reversible Bending Fatigue Tester and Its Application to High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel Vibration Integrity Investigation under Normal Transportation

 [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). High Temperature Materials Lab. (HTML)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
spent nuclear fuel; fuel transport; fuel vibration integrity; reversible bending fatigue test

Citation Formats

Wang, Jy-An John, and Wang, Hong. The Development of Reversible Bending Fatigue Tester and Its Application to High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel Vibration Integrity Investigation under Normal Transportation. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.2172/1150341.
Wang, Jy-An John, & Wang, Hong. The Development of Reversible Bending Fatigue Tester and Its Application to High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel Vibration Integrity Investigation under Normal Transportation. United States. doi:10.2172/1150341.
Wang, Jy-An John, and Wang, Hong. Fri . "The Development of Reversible Bending Fatigue Tester and Its Application to High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel Vibration Integrity Investigation under Normal Transportation". United States. doi:10.2172/1150341.
title = {The Development of Reversible Bending Fatigue Tester and Its Application to High Burnup Spent Nuclear Fuel Vibration Integrity Investigation under Normal Transportation},
author = {Wang, Jy-An John and Wang, Hong},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.2172/1150341},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Fri Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}

Technical Report:

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  • Vibration integrity of high burn-up spent nuclear fuel in transportation remains to be a critical component of US nuclear waste management system. The structural evaluation of package for spent fuel transportation eventually will need to see if the content or spent fuel is in a subcritical condition. However, a system for testing and characterizing such spent fuel is still lacking mainly due to the complication involved with dealing radioactive specimens in a hot cell environment. Apparently, the current state-of-the-art in spent fuel research and development is quite far away from the delivery of reliable mechanical property data for the assessmentmore » of spent fuels in the transport package evaluation. Under the sponsorship of US NRC, ORNL has taken the challenge in developing a robust testing system for spent fuel in hot cell. An extensive literature survey was carried out and unique requirements of such testing system were identified. The U-frame setup has come to the top among various designs examined for reverse bending fatigue test of spent fuel rod. The U-frame has many features that deserve mentioned here: Easy to install spent fuel rod in test; Less linkages than in conventional bending test setup such as three-point or four-point bending; Target the failure mode relevant to the fracture of spent fuel rod in transportation by focusing on pure bending; The continuous calibrations and modifications resulted in the third generation (3G) U-frame testing setup. Rigid arms are split along the LBB axis at rod sample ends. For each arm, this results in a large arm body and an end piece. Mating halves of bushings were modified into two V-shaped surfaces on which linear roller bearings (LRB) are embedded. The rod specimen is installed into the test fixture through opening and closing slide end-pieces. The 3G apparently has addressed major issues of setup identified in the previous stage and been proven to be eligible to be further pursued in this project. On the other hand, the purchase of universal testing machine or Bose dual LM2 TB was completed and the testing system was delivered to ORNL in August 2012. The preliminary confirmation of the system and on-site training were given by Bose field engineer and regional manager on 8/1-8/2/2012. The calibration of Bose testing system has been performed by ORNL because the integration of ORNL setup into the Bose TestBench occurred after the installation. Major challenge with this process arose from two aspects: 1) the load control involves two load cells, and 2) U-frame setup itself is a non-standard specimen. ORNL has been able to implement the load control through Cycle Indirect along with pinning the U-frame setup. Two meetings with ORNL hot-cell group (November 2012 and January 2013) were held to discuss the potential issues with both epoxy mounting of rigid sleeve and U-frame setup. Many suggestions were provided to make the procedure friendlier to the manipulator in hot cell. Addressing of these suggestions resulted in another cycle of modifications of both vise mold and setup. The initial meeting with ORNL I&C group occurred in November 2012 with regard to the Bose cable modification and design of central panel to integrate the cables and wires. The first round of cable modification and central panel fabrication was completed in February 2012. The testing with the modified cables exhibited substantial noises and the testing system was not shown to be stable. It was believed the cross talk was responsible to the noise, and a central panel with a better grounding and shielding was highly recommended. The central panel has been re-designed and fabricated in March 2013. In the subsequent period, the ORNL made substantial effort to debug the noises with the load cell channel, and to resolve the noises and nonlinearity with RDP LVDTs related to the integration of RDP LVDTs to Bose system. At the same time, ORNL has completed the verification tests of Bose test system, including cycle tests under reversal bending in load control, bending tests under monotonic load, and cycle tests under reversal bending in load control on MTS machine to verify the results of Bose machine. These results are shown to be consistent under equivalent loading conditions, especially for the cycle tests. Rad hardened LVDTs will be incorporated into the Bose system once received, and 10 Hz tests will be completed in the next step. The schedule for the final check of the Bose system is being finalized before the system delivered to the hot cell.« less
  • Transportation packages for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) must meet safety requirements under normal and accident conditions as specified by federal regulations. During transportation, SNF experiences unique conditions and challenges to cladding integrity due to the vibrational and impact loading during road or rail shipment. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been developing testing capabilities that can be used to improve the understanding of the impacts on SNF integrity due to vibration loading, especially for high burn-up SNF in normal transportation operation conditions. This information can be used to meet the nuclear industry and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs in themore » area of safety and security of spent nuclear fuel storage and transport operations. The ORNL developed test system can perform reversible-bending fatigue testing to evaluate both the static and dynamic mechanical response of SNF rods under simulated loads. The testing apparatus is also designed to meet the challenges of hot-cell operation, including remote installation and detachment of the SNF test specimen, in-situ test specimen deformation measurement, and implementation of a driving system suitable for use in a hot cell. The system contains a U-frame set-up equipped with uniquely designed grip rigs, to protect SNF rod and to ensure valid test results, and use of 3 specially designed LVDTs to obtain the in-situ curvature measurement. A variety of surrogate test rods have been used to develop and calibrate the test system as well as in performing a series of systematic cyclic fatigue tests. The surrogate rods include stainless steel (SS) cladding, SS cladding with cast epoxy, and SS cladding with alumina pellets inserts simulating fuel pellets. Testing to date has shown that the interface bonding between the SS cladding and the alumina pellets has a significant impact on the bending response of the test rods as well as their fatigue strength. The failure behaviors observed from tested surrogate rods provides a fundamental understanding of the underlying failure mechanisms of the SNF surrogate rod under vibration which has not been achieved previously. The newly developed device is scheduled to be installed in the hot-cell in summer 2013 to test high burnup SNF.« less
  • Finite element analysis (FEA) was used to investigate the impacts of interfacial bonding efficiency at pellet pellet and pellet clad interfaces on spent nuclear fuel (SNF) vibration integrity. The FEA simulation results were also validated and benchmarked with reverse bending fatigue test results on surrogate rods consisting of stainless steel (SS) tubes with alumina-pellet inserts. Bending moments (M) are applied to the FEA models to evaluate the system responses of the surrogate rods. From the induced curvature, , the flexural rigidity EI can be estimated as EI=M/ . The impacts of interfacial bonding efficiency on SNF vibration integrity include themore » moment carrying capacity distribution between pellets and clad and the impact of cohesion on the flexural rigidity of the surrogate rod system. The result also indicates that the immediate consequences of interfacial de-bonding are a load carrying capacity shift from the fuel pellets to the clad and a reduction of the composite rod flexural rigidity. Therefore, the flexural rigidity of the surrogate rod and the bending moment bearing capacity between the clad and fuel pellets are strongly dependent on the efficiency of interfacial bonding at the pellet pellet and pellet clad interfaces. The above-noted phenomenon was calibrated and validated by reverse bending fatigue testing using a surrogate rod system.« less
  • This report documents ongoing work performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Department of Energy, Office of Fuel Cycle Technology Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC), and satisfies the deliverable for milestone M2FT-13OR0805041, “Data Report on Hydrogen Doping and Irradiation in HFIR.” This work is conducted under WBS, Work Package FT-13OR080504 ST “Storage and Transportation-Experiments – ORNL.” The objectives of work packages that make up the S&T Experiments Control Account are to conduct the separate effects tests (SET) and small-scale tests that have been identified in the Used Nuclear Fuel Storage and Transportation Data Gap Prioritization (FCRD-USED-2012-000109). Inmore » FY 2013, the R&D focused on cladding and container issues and small-scale tests as identified in Sections A-2.9 and A-2.12 of the prioritization report.« less