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Title: Capabilities Development for Transient Testing of Advanced Nuclear Fuels at TREAT

Abstract

The TREAT facility is a unique capability at the Idaho National Laboratory currently being prepared for resumption of nuclear transient testing. Accordingly, designs for several transient irradiation tests are being pursued to enable development of advanced nuclear fuels and materials. In addition to the reactor itself, the foundation for TREAT’s capabilities also include a suite of irradiation vehicles and supporting infrastructure to provide the desired specimen boundary conditions while supporting a variety of instrumentation needs. The challenge of creating these vehicles, especially since many of the modern data needs were not historically addressed in TREAT experiment vehicles, has necessitated a sizeable engineering effort. This effort is currently underway and maturing rapidly. This paper summarizes the status, future plans, and rationale for TREAT experiment vehicle capabilities. Much of the current progress is focused around understanding and demonstrating the behavior of fuel design with enhanced accident tolerance in water-cooled reactors. Additionally, several related efforts are underway to facilitate transient testing in liquid sodium, inert gas, and steam environments. This paper discusses why such a variety of capabilities are needed, outlines plans to accomplish them, and describes the relationship between transient data needs and the irradiation hardware that will support the gathering ofmore » this information.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1358204
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-16-37608
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Top Fuel 2016, Boise, ID, September 11–16, 2016
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ATF; Transient; TREAT

Citation Formats

Woolstenhulme, N. E., Baker, C. C., Bess, J. D., Davis, C. B., Hill, C. M., Housley, G. K., Jensen, C. B., Jerred, N. D., O'Brien, R. C., Snow, S. D., and Wachs, D. M. Capabilities Development for Transient Testing of Advanced Nuclear Fuels at TREAT. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Woolstenhulme, N. E., Baker, C. C., Bess, J. D., Davis, C. B., Hill, C. M., Housley, G. K., Jensen, C. B., Jerred, N. D., O'Brien, R. C., Snow, S. D., & Wachs, D. M. Capabilities Development for Transient Testing of Advanced Nuclear Fuels at TREAT. United States.
Woolstenhulme, N. E., Baker, C. C., Bess, J. D., Davis, C. B., Hill, C. M., Housley, G. K., Jensen, C. B., Jerred, N. D., O'Brien, R. C., Snow, S. D., and Wachs, D. M. 2016. "Capabilities Development for Transient Testing of Advanced Nuclear Fuels at TREAT". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358204.
@article{osti_1358204,
title = {Capabilities Development for Transient Testing of Advanced Nuclear Fuels at TREAT},
author = {Woolstenhulme, N. E. and Baker, C. C. and Bess, J. D. and Davis, C. B. and Hill, C. M. and Housley, G. K. and Jensen, C. B. and Jerred, N. D. and O'Brien, R. C. and Snow, S. D. and Wachs, D. M.},
abstractNote = {The TREAT facility is a unique capability at the Idaho National Laboratory currently being prepared for resumption of nuclear transient testing. Accordingly, designs for several transient irradiation tests are being pursued to enable development of advanced nuclear fuels and materials. In addition to the reactor itself, the foundation for TREAT’s capabilities also include a suite of irradiation vehicles and supporting infrastructure to provide the desired specimen boundary conditions while supporting a variety of instrumentation needs. The challenge of creating these vehicles, especially since many of the modern data needs were not historically addressed in TREAT experiment vehicles, has necessitated a sizeable engineering effort. This effort is currently underway and maturing rapidly. This paper summarizes the status, future plans, and rationale for TREAT experiment vehicle capabilities. Much of the current progress is focused around understanding and demonstrating the behavior of fuel design with enhanced accident tolerance in water-cooled reactors. Additionally, several related efforts are underway to facilitate transient testing in liquid sodium, inert gas, and steam environments. This paper discusses why such a variety of capabilities are needed, outlines plans to accomplish them, and describes the relationship between transient data needs and the irradiation hardware that will support the gathering of this information.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Conference:
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  • The restart of the Transient REActor Test (TREAT) facility provides a unique opportunity to engage the fast reactor fuels community to reinitiate in-pile experimental safety studies. Historically, the TREAT facility played a critical role in characterizing the behavior of both metal and oxide fast reactor fuels under off-normal conditions, irradiating hundreds of fuel pins to support fast reactor fuel development programs. The resulting test data has provided validation for a multitude of fuel performance and severe accident analysis computer codes. This paper will provide a review of the historical database of TREAT experiments including experiment design, instrumentation, test objectives, andmore » salient findings. Additionally, the paper will provide an introduction to the current and future experiment plans of the U.S. transient testing program at TREAT.« less
  • A variety of instruments are being developed and qualified to support the Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATF) program and future transient irradiations at the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) facility at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The University of New Mexico (UNM) is working with INL to develop capacitance-based void sensors for determining the timing of critical boiling phenomena in static capsule fuel testing and the volume-averaged void fraction in flow-boiling in-pile water loop fuel testing. The static capsule sensor developed at INL is a plate-type configuration, while UNM is utilizing a ring-type capacitance sensor. Each sensor design has been theoretically and experimentallymore » investigated at INL and UNM. Experiments are being performed at INL in an autoclave to investigate the performance of these sensors under representative Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) conditions in a static capsule. Experiments have been performed at UNM using air-water two-phase flow to determine the sensitivity and time response of the capacitance sensor under a flow boiling configuration. Initial measurements from the capacitance sensor have demonstrated the validity of the concept to enable real-time measurement of void fraction. The next steps include designing the cabling interface with the flow loop at UNM for Reactivity Initiated Accident (RIA) ATF testing at TREAT and further characterization of the measurement response for each sensor under varying conditions by experiments and modeling.« less
  • The TREAT facility was designed and built in the 1950s to provide a transient reactor for conducting safety experiments on reactor fuels. Throughout its almost 40-year history, it has proven to be a safe, reliable, and versatile facility, compiling a distinguished record of successful experiments. Several major improvements to the facility have been made, including an expansion of the building and of equipment handling capability, and enlargement of the access hole above the core, rearrangement of the reactor's control rods to provide more-uniform flux profiles, installation of improved reactor computer-control systems, a feedback system that safely allows real-time changes inmore » power transients depending upon events occurring in the experiment, and several upgrades in the fast neutron hodoscope for improved experiment-fuel-motion diagnostics. The original TREAT fuel is still in use, however, since it appears to have no degradation from its many years of service.« less