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Title: Rate Theory Modeling and Simulation of Silicide Fuel at LWR Conditions

Abstract

As a promising candidate for the accident tolerant fuel (ATF) used in light water reactors (LWRs), the fuel performance of uranium silicide (U 3Si 2) at LWR conditions needs to be well understood. In this report, rate theory model was developed based on existing experimental data and density functional theory (DFT) calculations so as to predict the fission gas behavior in U 3Si 2 at LWR conditions. The fission gas behavior of U 3Si 2 can be divided into three temperature regimes. During steady-state operation, the majority of the fission gas stays in intragranular bubbles, whereas the dominance of intergranular bubbles and fission gas release only occurs beyond 1000 K. The steady-state rate theory model was also used as reference to establish a gaseous swelling correlation of U 3Si 2 for the BISON code. Meanwhile, the overpressurized bubble model was also developed so that the fission gas behavior at LOCA can be simulated. LOCA simulation showed that intragranular bubbles are still dominant after a 70 second LOCA, resulting in a controllable gaseous swelling. The fission gas behavior of U 3Si 2 at LWR conditions is benign according to the rate theory prediction at both steady-state and LOCA conditions, which providesmore » important references to the qualification of U 3Si 2 as a LWR fuel material with excellent fuel performance and enhanced accident tolerance.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States). Fuel Modeling and Simulation
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE). Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS)
OSTI Identifier:
1327817
Report Number(s):
ANL/NE-16/13
130024; TRN: US1700324
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; URANIUM SILICIDES; ACCIDENT-TOLERANT NUCLEAR FUELS; LOSS OF COOLANT; FISSION PRODUCTS; DENSITY FUNCTIONAL METHOD; REACTOR ACCIDENT SIMULATION; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; WATER MODERATED REACTORS; BUBBLES; SWELLING; WATER COOLED REACTORS; PERFORMANCE; FISSION PRODUCT RELEASE

Citation Formats

Miao, Yinbin, Ye, Bei, Hofman, Gerard, Yacout, Abdellatif, Gamble, Kyle, and Mei, Zhi-Gang. Rate Theory Modeling and Simulation of Silicide Fuel at LWR Conditions. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1327817.
Miao, Yinbin, Ye, Bei, Hofman, Gerard, Yacout, Abdellatif, Gamble, Kyle, & Mei, Zhi-Gang. Rate Theory Modeling and Simulation of Silicide Fuel at LWR Conditions. United States. doi:10.2172/1327817.
Miao, Yinbin, Ye, Bei, Hofman, Gerard, Yacout, Abdellatif, Gamble, Kyle, and Mei, Zhi-Gang. 2016. "Rate Theory Modeling and Simulation of Silicide Fuel at LWR Conditions". United States. doi:10.2172/1327817. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1327817.
@article{osti_1327817,
title = {Rate Theory Modeling and Simulation of Silicide Fuel at LWR Conditions},
author = {Miao, Yinbin and Ye, Bei and Hofman, Gerard and Yacout, Abdellatif and Gamble, Kyle and Mei, Zhi-Gang},
abstractNote = {As a promising candidate for the accident tolerant fuel (ATF) used in light water reactors (LWRs), the fuel performance of uranium silicide (U3Si2) at LWR conditions needs to be well understood. In this report, rate theory model was developed based on existing experimental data and density functional theory (DFT) calculations so as to predict the fission gas behavior in U3Si2 at LWR conditions. The fission gas behavior of U3Si2 can be divided into three temperature regimes. During steady-state operation, the majority of the fission gas stays in intragranular bubbles, whereas the dominance of intergranular bubbles and fission gas release only occurs beyond 1000 K. The steady-state rate theory model was also used as reference to establish a gaseous swelling correlation of U3Si2 for the BISON code. Meanwhile, the overpressurized bubble model was also developed so that the fission gas behavior at LOCA can be simulated. LOCA simulation showed that intragranular bubbles are still dominant after a 70 second LOCA, resulting in a controllable gaseous swelling. The fission gas behavior of U3Si2 at LWR conditions is benign according to the rate theory prediction at both steady-state and LOCA conditions, which provides important references to the qualification of U3Si2 as a LWR fuel material with excellent fuel performance and enhanced accident tolerance.},
doi = {10.2172/1327817},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • Uranium silicide (U 3Si 2) fuel has higher thermal conductivity and higher uranium density, making it a promising candidate for the accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) used in light water reactors (LWRs). However, previous studies on the fuel performance of U 3Si 2, including both experimental and computational approaches, have been focusing on the irradiation conditions in research reactors, which usually involve low operation temperatures and high fuel burnups. Thus, it is important to examine the fuel performance of U 3Si 2 at typical LWR conditions so as to evaluate the feasibility of replacing conventional uranium dioxide fuel with this silicide fuelmore » material. As in-reactor irradiation experiments involve significant time and financial cost, it is appropriate to utilize modeling tools to estimate the behavior of U 3Si 2 in LWRs based on all those available research reactor experimental references and state-of-the-art density functional theory (DFT) calculation capabilities at the early development stage. Hence, in this report, a comprehensive investigation of the fission gas swelling behavior of U 3Si 2 at LWR conditions is introduced. The modeling efforts mentioned in this report was based on the rate theory (RT) model of fission gas bubble evolution that has been successfully applied for a variety of fuel materials at devious reactor conditions. Both existing experimental data and DFT-calculated results were used for the optimization of the parameters adopted by the RT model. Meanwhile, the fuel-cladding interaction was captured by the coupling of the RT model with simplified mechanical correlations. Therefore, the swelling behavior of U 3Si 2 fuel and its consequent interaction with cladding in LWRs was predicted by the rate theory modeling, providing valuable information for the development of U 3Si 2 fuel as an accident-tolerant alternative for uranium dioxide.« less
  • As a promising candidate for the accident tolerant fuel (ATF) used in light water reactors (LWRs), the fuel performance of uranium silicide (U 3Si 2) at LWR conditions needs to be well-understood. However, existing experimental post-irradiation examination (PIE) data are limited to the research reactor conditions, which involve lower fuel temperature compared to LWR conditions. This lack of appropriate experimental data significantly affects the development of fuel performance codes that can precisely predict the microstructure evolution and property degradation at LWR conditions, and therefore evaluate the qualification of U 3Si 2 as an AFT for LWRs. Considering the high cost,more » long timescale, and restrictive access of the in-pile irradiation experiments, this study aims to utilize ion irradiation to simulate the inpile behavior of the U 3Si 2 fuel. Both in situ TEM ion irradiation and ex situ high-energy ATLAS ion irradiation experiments were employed to simulate different types of microstructure modifications in U 3Si 2. Multiple PIE techniques were used or will be used to quantitatively analyze the microstructure evolution induced by ion irradiation so as to provide valuable reference for the development of fuel performance code prior to the availability of the in-pile irradiation data.« less
  • This report documents a program (RATE) that uses FNEM subroutines and the network data bases to simulate transportation rates. It also documents the modifications made to the Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS) developed by the Interstate Commerce Commission, to allow it to be used as a subroutine in RATE and FNEM. RATE, the network data and cost subroutines from FNEM are used to determine the costs and competition that carriers face in making a shipment. These data, in turn, are used to simulate rate-making.
  • The Sanibel Symposium 2014 was held February 16-21, 2014, at the King and Prince, St. Simons Island, GA. It was successful in bringing condensed-matter physicists and quantum chemists together productively to drive the emergence of those specialties. The Symposium had a significant role in preparing a whole generation of quantum theorists. The 54th Sanibel meeting looked to the future in two ways. We had 360⁰-View sessions to honor the exceptional contributions of Rodney Bartlett (70), Bill Butler (70), Yngve Öhrn (80), Fritz Schaefer (70), and Malcolm Stocks (70). The work of these five has greatly impacted several generations of quantummore » chemists and condensed matter physicists. The “360⁰” is the sum of their ages. More significantly, it symbolizes a panoramic view of critical developments and accomplishments in theoretical and computational chemistry and physics oriented toward the future. Thus, two of the eight 360⁰-View sessions focused specifically on younger scientists. The 360⁰-View program was the major component of the 2014 Sanibel meeting. Another four sessions included a sub-symposium on ab initio Simulations at Extreme Conditions, with focus on getting past the barriers of present-day Born-Oppenheimer molecular dynamics by advances in finite-temperature density functional theory, orbital-free DFT, and new all-numerical approaches.« less
  • Hanford N-Reactor spent nuclear fuel (HSNF) may ultimately be placed in a geologic repository for permanent disposal. To determine whether the engineered barrier system that will be designed for emplacement of light-water-reactor (LWR) spent fuel will also suffice for HSNF, aqueous dissolution rate measurements were conducted on the HSNF. The purpose of these tests was to determine whether HSNF dissolves faster or slower than LWR spent fuel under some limited repository-relevant water chemistry conditions. The tests were conducted using a flowthrough method that allows the dissolution rate of the uranium matrix to be measured without interference by secondary precipitation reactionsmore » that would confuse interpretation of the results. Similar tests had been conducted earlier with LWR spent fuel, thereby allowing direct comparisons. Two distinct corrosion modes were observed during the course of these 12 tests. The first, Stage 1, involved no visible corrosion of the test specimen and produced no undissolved corrosion products. The second, Stage 2, resulted in both visible corrosion of the test specimen and left behind undissolved corrosion products. During Stage 1, the rate of dissolution could be readily determined because the dissolved uranium and associated fission products remained in solution where they could be quantitatively analyzed. The measured rates were much faster than has been observed for LWR spent fuel under all conditions tested to date when normalized to the exposed test specimen surface areas. Application of these results to repository conditions, however, requires some comparison of the physical conditions of the different fuels. The surface area of LWR fuel that could potentially be exposed to repository groundwater is estimated to be approximately 100 times greater than HSNF. Therefore, when compared on the basis of mass, which is more relevant to repository conditions, the HSNF and LWR spent fuel dissolve at similar rates.« less