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Title: Modeling and Analysis of UN TRISO Fuel for LWR Application Using the PARFUME Code

Abstract

The Idaho National Laboraroty (INL) PARFUME (particle fuel model) code was used to assess the overall fuel performance of uranium nitride (UN) tristructural isotropic (TRISO) ceramic fuel under irradiation conditions typical of a Light Water Reactor (LWR). The dimensional changes of the fuel particle layers and kernel were calculated, including the formation of an internal gap. The survivability of the UN TRISO particle was estimated depending on the strain behavior of the constituent materials at high fast fluence and burn up. For nominal cases, internal gas pressure and representative thermal profiles across the kernel and layers were determined along with stress levels in the inner and outer pyrolytic carbon (IPyC/OPyC) and silicon carbide (SiC) layers. These parameters were then used to evaluate fuel particle failure probabilities. Results of the study show that the survivability of UN TRISO fuel under LWR irradiation conditions might only be guaranteed if the kernel and PyC swelling rates are limited at high fast fluence and burn up. These material properties have large uncertainties at the irradiation levels expected to be reached by UN TRISO fuel in LWRs. Therefore, a large experimental effort would be needed to establish material properties, including kernel and PyC swelling rates,more » under these conditions before definitive conclusions can be drawn on the behavior of UN TRISO fuel in LWRs.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
1156908
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-14-31022
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Materials; Journal Volume: 451; Journal Issue: 1-3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; AGR; Light Water Reactor; NGNP; PARFUME; TDO; TRISO; VHTR

Citation Formats

Blaise Collin. Modeling and Analysis of UN TRISO Fuel for LWR Application Using the PARFUME Code. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.03.032.
Blaise Collin. Modeling and Analysis of UN TRISO Fuel for LWR Application Using the PARFUME Code. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.03.032.
Blaise Collin. Fri . "Modeling and Analysis of UN TRISO Fuel for LWR Application Using the PARFUME Code". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.03.032.
@article{osti_1156908,
title = {Modeling and Analysis of UN TRISO Fuel for LWR Application Using the PARFUME Code},
author = {Blaise Collin},
abstractNote = {The Idaho National Laboraroty (INL) PARFUME (particle fuel model) code was used to assess the overall fuel performance of uranium nitride (UN) tristructural isotropic (TRISO) ceramic fuel under irradiation conditions typical of a Light Water Reactor (LWR). The dimensional changes of the fuel particle layers and kernel were calculated, including the formation of an internal gap. The survivability of the UN TRISO particle was estimated depending on the strain behavior of the constituent materials at high fast fluence and burn up. For nominal cases, internal gas pressure and representative thermal profiles across the kernel and layers were determined along with stress levels in the inner and outer pyrolytic carbon (IPyC/OPyC) and silicon carbide (SiC) layers. These parameters were then used to evaluate fuel particle failure probabilities. Results of the study show that the survivability of UN TRISO fuel under LWR irradiation conditions might only be guaranteed if the kernel and PyC swelling rates are limited at high fast fluence and burn up. These material properties have large uncertainties at the irradiation levels expected to be reached by UN TRISO fuel in LWRs. Therefore, a large experimental effort would be needed to establish material properties, including kernel and PyC swelling rates, under these conditions before definitive conclusions can be drawn on the behavior of UN TRISO fuel in LWRs.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jnucmat.2014.03.032},
journal = {Journal of Nuclear Materials},
number = 1-3,
volume = 451,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Fri Aug 01 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • The PARFUME (PARticle Fuel ModEl) modeling code was used to assess the overall fuel performance of uranium nitride (UN) tri-structural isotropic (TRISO) ceramic fuel in the frame of the design and development of Fully Ceramic Matrix (FCM) fuel. A specific modeling of a TRISO particle with UN kernel was developed with PARFUME, and its behavior was assessed in irradiation conditions typical of a Light Water Reactor (LWR). The calculations were used to access the dimensional changes of the fuel particle layers and kernel, including the formation of an internal gap. The survivability of the UN TRISO particle was estimated dependingmore » on the strain behavior of the constituent materials at high fast fluence and burn-up. For nominal cases, internal gas pressure and representative thermal profiles across the kernel and layers were determined along with stress levels in the pyrolytic carbon (PyC) and silicon carbide (SiC) layers. These parameters were then used to evaluate fuel particle failure probabilities. Results of the study show that the survivability of UN TRISO fuel under LWR irradiation conditions might only be guaranteed if the kernel and PyC swelling rates are limited at high fast fluence and burn-up. These material properties are unknown at the irradiation levels expected to be reached by UN TRISO fuel in LWRs. Therefore, more effort is needed to determine them and positively conclude on the applicability of FCM fuel to LWRs.« less
  • The success of modular high temperature gas-cooled reactors is highly dependent on the performance of the tristructural-isotopic (TRISO) coated fuel particle and the quality to which it can be manufactured. During irradiation, TRISO-coated fuel particles act as a pressure vessel to contain fission gas and mitigate the diffusion of fission products to the coolant boundary. The fuel specifications place limits on key attributes to minimize fuel particle failure under irradiation and postulated accident conditions. PARFUME (an integrated mechanistic coated particle fuel performance code developed at the Idaho National Laboratory) was used to calculate fuel particle failure probabilities. By systematically varyingmore » key TRISO-coated particle attributes, failure probability functions were developed to understand how each attribute contributes to fuel particle failure. Critical manufacturing limits were calculated for the key attributes of a low enriched TRISO-coated nuclear fuel particle with a kernel diameter of 425 μm. As a result, these critical manufacturing limits identify ranges beyond where an increase in fuel particle failure probability is expected to occur.« less
  • A thermomechanical assessment of the LWR application of TRISO fuel with UN kernels was performed. Fission product release under operational and transient temperature conditions was determined by extrapolation from fission product recoil calculations and limited data from irradiated UN pellets. Both fission recoil and diffusive release were considered and internal particle pressures computed for both 650 and 800 um diameter kernels as a function of buffer layer thickness. These pressures were used in conjunction with a finite element program to compute the radial and tangential stresses generated within a TRISO particle undergoing burnup. Creep and swelling of the inner andmore » outer pyrolytic carbon layers were included in the analyses. A measure of reliability of the TRISO particle was obtained by computing the probability of survival of the SiC barrier layer and the maximum tensile stress generated in the pyrolytic carbon layers from internal pressure and thermomechanics of the layers. These reliability estimates were obtained as functions of the kernel diameter, buffer layer thickness, and pyrolytic carbon layer thickness. The value of the probability of survival at the end of irradiation was inversely proportional to the maximum pressure.« less
  • A thermomechanical assessment of the LWR application of TRISO fuel with UN kernels was performed. Fission product release under operational and transient temperature conditions was determined by extrapolation from range calculations and limited data from irradiated UN pellets. Both fission recoil and diffusive release were considered and internal particle pressures computed for both 650 and 800 m diameter kernels as a function of buffer layer thickness. These pressures were used in conjunction with a finite element program to compute the radial and tangential stresses generated with a TRISO particle as a function of fluence. Creep and swelling of the innermore » and outer pyrolytic carbon layers were included in the analyses. A measure of reliability of the TRISO particle was obtained by measuring the probability of survival of the SiC barrier layer and the maximum tensile stress generated in the pyrolytic carbon layers as a function of fluence. These reliability estimates were obtained as functions of the kernel diameter, buffer layer thickness, and pyrolytic carbon layer thickness. The value of the probability of survival at the end of irradiation was inversely proportional to the maximum pressure.« less