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

Abstract

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 (~4 cycles)more » 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

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
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
OSTI Identifier:
1328319
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2016/475
AF5810000; NEAF278; TRN: US1700340
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; FUEL CANS; ACCIDENT-TOLERANT NUCLEAR FUELS; FUEL RODS; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0400-1000 K; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; PERFORMANCE; REACTOR OPERATION; FINITE ELEMENT METHOD; IRON BASE ALLOYS; CHROMIUM ALLOYS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; ZIRCONIUM BASE ALLOYS; OXIDATION; ALUMINIUM ALLOYS; TERNARY ALLOY SYSTEMS; PEACH BOTTOM-2 REACTOR; CREEP; DESIGN; IRRADIATION; STEAM; THICKNESS; PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS; ENRICHMENT; TIME DEPENDENCE; CHEMICAL REACTION KINETICS; REACTIVITY; STRESSES; WATER COOLED REACTORS; WATER MODERATED REACTORS

Citation Formats

Sweet, Ryan, George, Nathan M., Terrani, Kurt A., and Wirth, Brian. BISON Fuel Performance Analysis of FeCrAl cladding with updated properties. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1328319.
Sweet, Ryan, George, Nathan M., Terrani, Kurt A., & Wirth, Brian. BISON Fuel Performance Analysis of FeCrAl cladding with updated properties. United States. doi:10.2172/1328319.
Sweet, Ryan, George, Nathan M., Terrani, Kurt A., and Wirth, Brian. 2016. "BISON Fuel Performance Analysis of FeCrAl cladding with updated properties". United States. doi:10.2172/1328319. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1328319.
@article{osti_1328319,
title = {BISON Fuel Performance Analysis of FeCrAl cladding with updated properties},
author = {Sweet, Ryan and George, Nathan M. and Terrani, Kurt A. and Wirth, Brian},
abstractNote = {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 (~4 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.},
doi = {10.2172/1328319},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Technical Report:

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  • SiC-based ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) [5–8] are being developed and evaluated internationally as potential LWR cladding options. These development activities include interests within both the DOE-NE LWR Sustainability (LWRS) Program and the DOE-NE Advanced Fuels Campaign. The LWRS Program considers SiC ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) as offering potentially revolutionary gains as a cladding material, with possible benefits including more efficient normal operating conditions and higher safety margins under accident conditions [9]. Within the Advanced Fuels Campaign, SiC-based composites are a candidate ATF cladding material that could achieve several goals, such as reducing the rates of heat and hydrogen generation duemore » to lower cladding oxidation rates in HT steam [10]. This work focuses on the application of SiC cladding as an ATF cladding material in PWRs, but these work efforts also support the general development and assessment of SiC as an LWR cladding material in a much broader sense.« less
  • The purpose of this milestone report is to highlight the results of sensitivity analyses performed on two accident tol- erant fuel concepts: U3Si2 fuel and FeCrAl cladding. The BISON fuel performance code under development at Idaho National Laboratory was coupled to Sandia National Laboratories’ DAKOTA software to perform the sensitivity analyses. Both Loss of Coolant (LOCA) and Station blackout (SBO) scenarios were analyzed using main effects studies. The results indicate that for FeCrAl cladding the input parameters with greatest influence on the output metrics of interest (fuel centerline temperature and cladding hoop strain) during the LOCA were the isotropic swellingmore » and fuel enrichment. For U3Si2 the important inputs were found to be the intergranular diffusion coefficient, specific heat, and fuel thermal conductivity. For the SBO scenario, Young’s modulus was found to be influential in FeCrAl in addition to the isotropic swelling and fuel enrichment. Contrarily to the LOCA case, the specific heat of U3Si2 was found to have no effect during the SBO. The intergranular diffusion coefficient and fuel thermal conductivity were still found to be of importance. The results of the sensitivity analyses have identified areas where further research is required including fission gas behavior in U3Si2 and irradiation swelling in FeCrAl. Moreover, the results highlight the need to perform the sensitivity analyses on full length fuel rods for SBO scenarios.« less
  • In order to improve the accident tolerance of light water reactor (LWR) fuel, alternative cladding materials have been proposed to replace the currently used zirconium (Zr)-based alloys. Of these materials, there is a particular focus on iron-chromiumaluminum (FeCrAl) alloys because they exhibit slower oxidation kinetics in high-temperature steam than Zr-alloys. This should decrease the energy release due to oxidation and slow cladding consumption in the presence of high temperature steam. These alloys should also exhibit increased “coping time” in the event of an accident scenario by improving the mechanical performance at high temperatures, allowing greater flexibility to achieve core cooling.more » As a continuation of the development of these alloys, in-reactor irradiation testing of FeCrAl cladded fuel rods has started. In order to provide insight on the possible behavior of these fuel rods as they undergo irradiation in the Halden Boiling Water Reactor, engineering analysis has been performed using FeCrAl material models implemented into the BISON fuel performance code. This milestone report provides an update on the ongoing development of modeling capability to predict FeCrAl cladding fuel performance and to provide an early look at the possible behavior of planned in-reactor FeCrAl cladding experiments. In particular, this report consists of two separate analyses. The first analysis consists of fuel performance simulations of IFA-796 rod 4 and two segments of rod 3. These simulations utilize previously implemented material models for the C35M FeCrAl alloy and UO2 to provide a bounding behavior analysis corresponding to variation of the initial fuel cladding gap thickness within the fuel rod. The second analysis is an assessment of the fuel and cladding stress states after modification of the fuel creep model that is currently implemented in the BISON fuel performance code. Effects from modifying the fuel creep model were identified for the BISON simulations of the IFA-796 rod 4 experiment, but show that varying the creep model (within the range investigated here) only provide a minimal increase in the fuel radius and maximum cladding hoop stress. Continued investigation of fuel behavioral models will include benchmarking the modified fuel creep model against available experimental data, as well as an investigation of the role that fuel cracking will play in the compliance of the fuel. Correctly calculating stress evolution in the fuel is key to assessing fuel behavior up to gap closure and the subsequent deformation of the cladding due to PCMI. The inclusion of frictional contact should also be investigated to determine the axial elongation of the fuel rods for comparison with data from this experiment.« less
  • The primary objective of this report is to document results of BISON analyses supporting Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FCRD) activities. Specifically, the present report seeks to provide explanation for the microstructural features observed during post irradiation examination of the helium-bonded annular U-10Zr fuel irradiated during the AFC-3A experiment. Post irradiation examination of the AFC-3A rodlet revealed microstructural features indicative of the fuel-cladding chemical interaction (FCCI) at the fuel-cladding interface. Presence of large voids was also observed in the same locations. BISON analyses were performed to examine stress and temperature profiles and to investigate possible correlation between the voids andmore » FCCI. It was found that presence of the large voids lead to a formation of circumferential temperature gradients in the fuel that may have redirected migrating lanthanides to the locations where fuel and cladding are in contact. Resulting localized increase of lanthanide concentration is expected to accelerate FCCI. The results of this work provide important guidance to the post irradiation examination studies. Specifically, the hypothesis of lanthanides being redirected from the voids to the locations where the fuel and the cladding are in contact should be verified by conducting quantitative electron microscopy or Electron Probe Micro-Analyzer (EPMA). The results also highlight the need for computer models capable of simulating lanthanide diffusion in metallic fuel and establish a basis for validation of such models.« less