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Title: A pulse-controlled modified-burst test instrument for accident-tolerant fuel cladding

Abstract

Pellet-cladding mechanical interaction due to thermal expansion of nuclear fuel pellets during a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA) is a potential mechanism for failure of nuclear fuel cladding. To investigate the mechanical behavior of cladding during an RIA, we developed a mechanical pulse-controlled modified burst test instrument that simulates transient events with a pulse width from 10 to 300 ms. This paper includes validation tests of unirradiated and prehydrided ZIRLO cladding tubes. A ZIRLO cladding sample with a hydrogen content of 168 wt. ppm showed ductile behavior and failed at the maximum limits of the test setup with hoop strain to failure greater than 9.2%. ZIRLO samples showed high resistance to failure even at very high hydrogen contents (1,466 wt. ppm). When the hydrogen content was increased to 1,554 wt. ppm, brittle-like behavior was observed at a hoop strain of 2.5%. Preliminary scoping tests at room temperature with FeCrAl tubes were conducted to imitate the pulse behavior of transient test reactors during integral tests. The preliminary FeCrAl tests are informative from the perspective of characterizing the test rig and supporting the design of integral tests for current and potentially accident tolerant cladding materials.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1362243
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416855
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford); Journal Volume: 109; Journal ID: ISSN 0306-4549
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; Accident-tolerant fuel; FeCrAl alloys; reactivity-initiated accident; rapid loading; pellet-cladding mechanical interaction; modified burst test; hydride; zirconium alloy; ZIRLO.

Citation Formats

Cinbiz, M. Nedim, Brown, Nicholas R., Terrani, Kurt A., Lowden, Rick R., and Erdman, Donald. A pulse-controlled modified-burst test instrument for accident-tolerant fuel cladding. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2017.05.058.
Cinbiz, M. Nedim, Brown, Nicholas R., Terrani, Kurt A., Lowden, Rick R., & Erdman, Donald. A pulse-controlled modified-burst test instrument for accident-tolerant fuel cladding. United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2017.05.058.
Cinbiz, M. Nedim, Brown, Nicholas R., Terrani, Kurt A., Lowden, Rick R., and Erdman, Donald. Sat . "A pulse-controlled modified-burst test instrument for accident-tolerant fuel cladding". United States. doi:10.1016/j.anucene.2017.05.058.
@article{osti_1362243,
title = {A pulse-controlled modified-burst test instrument for accident-tolerant fuel cladding},
author = {Cinbiz, M. Nedim and Brown, Nicholas R. and Terrani, Kurt A. and Lowden, Rick R. and Erdman, Donald},
abstractNote = {Pellet-cladding mechanical interaction due to thermal expansion of nuclear fuel pellets during a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA) is a potential mechanism for failure of nuclear fuel cladding. To investigate the mechanical behavior of cladding during an RIA, we developed a mechanical pulse-controlled modified burst test instrument that simulates transient events with a pulse width from 10 to 300 ms. This paper includes validation tests of unirradiated and prehydrided ZIRLO cladding tubes. A ZIRLO cladding sample with a hydrogen content of 168 wt. ppm showed ductile behavior and failed at the maximum limits of the test setup with hoop strain to failure greater than 9.2%. ZIRLO samples showed high resistance to failure even at very high hydrogen contents (1,466 wt. ppm). When the hydrogen content was increased to 1,554 wt. ppm, brittle-like behavior was observed at a hoop strain of 2.5%. Preliminary scoping tests at room temperature with FeCrAl tubes were conducted to imitate the pulse behavior of transient test reactors during integral tests. The preliminary FeCrAl tests are informative from the perspective of characterizing the test rig and supporting the design of integral tests for current and potentially accident tolerant cladding materials.},
doi = {10.1016/j.anucene.2017.05.058},
journal = {Annals of Nuclear Energy (Oxford)},
number = ,
volume = 109,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Jun 03 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Jun 03 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on June 3, 2018
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  • The high resistance of cladding to plastic deformation and burst failure is one of the most essential properties of accident tolerant fuel (ATF) for maintaining structural integrity during a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) since the deformation and burst behavior governs the cooling efficiency of flow channels and process of fission product release. To simulate and evaluate such deformation and burst process of thin-walled cladding, an in-situ testing and evaluation method has been developed on the basis of visual imaging and image analysis techniques. The method uses a specialized optics system consisted of a high-resolution video camera, light filtering unit, and monochromaticmore » light sources, and the in-situ testing is performed using a 50 mm long pressurized thin-walled tubular specimen set in a programmable furnace. In this study eleven (11) candidate cladding materials for ATF, i.e., 6 FeCrAl alloys and 5 nanostructured steels, were tested using the newly developed method, and the time-dependent images were analyzed to produce detailed deformation and burst data such as true hoop stress, strain (creep) rate, and failure stress. Relatively soft FeCrAl alloys deformed and burst below 800°C while negligible strain rates were measured for higher strength alloys and/or for relatively thick wall specimens.« less
  • Here, one of the most essential properties of accident tolerant fuel (ATF) for maintaining structural integrity during a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) is high resistance of the cladding to plastic deformation and burst failure, since the deformation and burst behavior governs the cooling efficiency of flow channels and the process of fission product release. To simulate and evaluate the deformation and burst process of thin-walled cladding, an in-situ testing and evaluation method has been developed on the basis of visual imaging and image analysis techniques. The method uses a specialized optics system consisting of a high-resolution video camera, a light filteringmore » unit, and monochromatic light sources. The in-situ testing is performed using a 50 mm long pressurized thin-walled tubular specimen set in a programmable furnace. As the first application, ten (10) candidate cladding materials for ATF, i.e., five FeCrAl alloys and five nanostructured steels, were tested using the newly developed method, and the time-dependent images were analyzed to produce detailed deformation and burst data such as true hoop stress, strain (creep) rate, and failure stress. Relatively soft FeCrAl alloys deformed and burst below 800 °C, while negligible strain rates were measured for higher strength alloys.« less
  • Accident-tolerant fuels are expected to have considerably longer coping time to respond to the loss of active cooling under severe accidents and, at the same time, have comparable or improved fuel performance during normal operation. The wear resistance of accident tolerant fuels, therefore, needs to be examined to determine the applicability of these cladding candidates to the current operating PWRs because the most common failure of nuclear fuel claddings is still caused by grid-to-rod fretting during normal operations. In this study, reciprocating sliding wear tests on three kinds of cladding candidates for accident-tolerant fuels have been performed to investigate themore » tribological compatibilities of selfmated cladding candidates and to determine the direct applicability of conventional Zirconium-based alloys as supporting structural materials. The friction coefficients of the cladding candidates are strongly influenced by the test environments and coupled materials. The wear test results under water lubrication conditions indicate that the supporting structural materials for the cladding candidates of accident-tolerant fuels need to be replaced with the same cladding materials instead of using conventional Zirconium-based alloys.« less