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Title: AGR-3/4 Irradiation Test Train Disassembly and Component Metrology First Look Report

Abstract

The AGR-3/4 experiment was designed to study fission product transport within graphitic matrix material and nuclear-grade graphite. To this end, this experiment consisted of 12 capsules, each fueled with 4 compacts containing UCO TRISO particles as driver fuel and 20 UCO designed-to-fail (DTF) fuel particles in each compact. The DTF fuel was fabricated with a thin pyrocarbon layer which was intended to fail during irradiation and provide a source of fission products. These fission products could then migrate through the compact and into the surrounding concentric rings of graphitic matrix material and/or nuclear graphite. Through post-irradiation examination (PIE) of the rings (including physical sampling and gamma scanning) fission product concentration profiles within the rings can be determined. These data can be used to elucidate fission product transport parameters (e.g. diffusion coefficients within the test materials) which will be used to inform and refine models of fission product transport. After irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) had been completed in April 2014, the AGR-3/4 experiment was shipped to the Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) for inspection, disassembly, and metrology. The AGR-3/4 test train was received at MFC in two separate shipments between Februarymore » and April 2015. Visual examinations of the test train exterior did not indicate dimensional distortion, and only two small discolored areas were observed at the bottom of Capsules 8 and 9. No corresponding discoloration was found on the inside of these capsules, however. Prior to disassembly, the two test train sections were subject to analysis via the Precision Gamma Scanner (PGS), which did not indicate that any gross fuel relocation had occurred. A series of specialized tools (including clamps, cutters, and drills) had been designed and fabricated in order to carry out test train disassembly and recovery of capsule components (graphite rings and fuel compacts). This equipment performed well for separating each capsule in the test train and extracting the capsule components. Only a few problems were encountered. In one case, the outermost ring (the sink ring) was cracked during removal of the capsule through tubes. Although the sink ring will be analyzed in order to obtain a mass balance of fission products in the experiment, these cracks do not pose a major concern because the sink ring will not be analyzed in detail to obtain the spatial distribution of fission products. In Capsules 4 and 5, the compacts could not be removed from the inner rings. Strategies for removing the compacts are being evaluated. Sampling the inner rings with the compacts in-place is also an option. Dimensional measurements were made on the compacts, inner rings, outer rings, and sink rings. The diameters of all compacts decreased by 0.5 to 2.0 %. Generally, the extent of diametric shrinkage increased linearly with increasing neutron fluence. Most compact lengths also decreased. Compact lengths decreased with increasing fluence, reaching maximum shrinkage of about 0.9 % at a fast fluence of 4.0x1025 n/m2 E > 0.18 MeV. Above this fluence, the extent of length shrinkage appeared to decrease with fluence, and two compacts from Capsule 7 were found to have slightly increased in length (< 0.1 %) after a fluence of 5.2x1025 n/m2.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1364232
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-16-38005
TRN: US1703372
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; FISSION PRODUCTS; GRAPHITE; MATRIX MATERIALS; IRRADIATION; TEST REACTORS; Advanced Gas Reactor; ART; Hot Fuel Examination Facility; outer diameter; post-irradiation examination; silicon carbide; TRISO

Citation Formats

Stempien, John Dennis, Rice, Francine Joyce, Harp, Jason Michael, and Winston, Philip Lon. AGR-3/4 Irradiation Test Train Disassembly and Component Metrology First Look Report. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1364232.
Stempien, John Dennis, Rice, Francine Joyce, Harp, Jason Michael, & Winston, Philip Lon. AGR-3/4 Irradiation Test Train Disassembly and Component Metrology First Look Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1364232.
Stempien, John Dennis, Rice, Francine Joyce, Harp, Jason Michael, and Winston, Philip Lon. 2016. "AGR-3/4 Irradiation Test Train Disassembly and Component Metrology First Look Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1364232. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1364232.
@article{osti_1364232,
title = {AGR-3/4 Irradiation Test Train Disassembly and Component Metrology First Look Report},
author = {Stempien, John Dennis and Rice, Francine Joyce and Harp, Jason Michael and Winston, Philip Lon},
abstractNote = {The AGR-3/4 experiment was designed to study fission product transport within graphitic matrix material and nuclear-grade graphite. To this end, this experiment consisted of 12 capsules, each fueled with 4 compacts containing UCO TRISO particles as driver fuel and 20 UCO designed-to-fail (DTF) fuel particles in each compact. The DTF fuel was fabricated with a thin pyrocarbon layer which was intended to fail during irradiation and provide a source of fission products. These fission products could then migrate through the compact and into the surrounding concentric rings of graphitic matrix material and/or nuclear graphite. Through post-irradiation examination (PIE) of the rings (including physical sampling and gamma scanning) fission product concentration profiles within the rings can be determined. These data can be used to elucidate fission product transport parameters (e.g. diffusion coefficients within the test materials) which will be used to inform and refine models of fission product transport. After irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) had been completed in April 2014, the AGR-3/4 experiment was shipped to the Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) for inspection, disassembly, and metrology. The AGR-3/4 test train was received at MFC in two separate shipments between February and April 2015. Visual examinations of the test train exterior did not indicate dimensional distortion, and only two small discolored areas were observed at the bottom of Capsules 8 and 9. No corresponding discoloration was found on the inside of these capsules, however. Prior to disassembly, the two test train sections were subject to analysis via the Precision Gamma Scanner (PGS), which did not indicate that any gross fuel relocation had occurred. A series of specialized tools (including clamps, cutters, and drills) had been designed and fabricated in order to carry out test train disassembly and recovery of capsule components (graphite rings and fuel compacts). This equipment performed well for separating each capsule in the test train and extracting the capsule components. Only a few problems were encountered. In one case, the outermost ring (the sink ring) was cracked during removal of the capsule through tubes. Although the sink ring will be analyzed in order to obtain a mass balance of fission products in the experiment, these cracks do not pose a major concern because the sink ring will not be analyzed in detail to obtain the spatial distribution of fission products. In Capsules 4 and 5, the compacts could not be removed from the inner rings. Strategies for removing the compacts are being evaluated. Sampling the inner rings with the compacts in-place is also an option. Dimensional measurements were made on the compacts, inner rings, outer rings, and sink rings. The diameters of all compacts decreased by 0.5 to 2.0 %. Generally, the extent of diametric shrinkage increased linearly with increasing neutron fluence. Most compact lengths also decreased. Compact lengths decreased with increasing fluence, reaching maximum shrinkage of about 0.9 % at a fast fluence of 4.0x1025 n/m2 E > 0.18 MeV. Above this fluence, the extent of length shrinkage appeared to decrease with fluence, and two compacts from Capsule 7 were found to have slightly increased in length (< 0.1 %) after a fluence of 5.2x1025 n/m2.},
doi = {10.2172/1364232},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • The AGR-3/4 experiment was designed to study fission product transport within graphitic matrix material and nuclear-grade graphite. To this end, this experiment consisted of 12 capsules, each fueled with 4 compacts containing UCO TRISO particles as driver fuel and 20 UCO designed-to-fail (DTF) fuel particles in each compact. The DTF fuel was fabricated with a thin pyrocarbon layer which was intended to fail during irradiation and provide a source of fission products. These fission products could then migrate through the compact and into the surrounding concentric rings of graphitic matrix material and/or nuclear graphite. Through post-irradiation examination (PIE) of themore » rings (including physical sampling and gamma scanning) fission product concentration profiles within the rings can be determined. These data can be used to elucidate fission product transport parameters (e.g. diffusion coefficients within the test materials) which will be used to inform and refine models of fission product transport. After irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) had been completed in April 2014, the AGR-3/4 experiment was shipped to the Hot Fuel Examination Facility (HFEF) at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) for inspection, disassembly, and metrology. The AGR-3/4 test train was received at MFC in two separate shipments between February and April 2015. Visual examinations of the test train exterior did not indicate dimensional distortion, and only two small discolored areas were observed at the bottom of Capsules 8 and 9. No corresponding discoloration was found on the inside of these capsules, however. Prior to disassembly, the two test train sections were subject to analysis via the Precision Gamma Scanner (PGS), which did not indicate that any gross fuel relocation had occurred. A series of specialized tools (including clamps, cutters, and drills) had been designed and fabricated in order to carry out test train disassembly and recovery of capsule components (graphite rings and fuel compacts). This equipment performed well for separating each capsule in the test train and extracting the capsule components. Only a few problems were encountered. In one case, the outermost ring (the sink ring) was cracked during removal of the capsule through tubes. Although the sink ring will be analyzed in order to obtain a mass balance of fission products in the experiment, these cracks do not pose a major concern because the sink ring will not be analyzed in detail to obtain the spatial distribution of fission products. In Capsules 4 and 5, the compacts could not be removed from the inner rings. Strategies for removing the compacts are being evaluated. Sampling the inner rings with the compacts in-place is also an option. Dimensional measurements were made on the compacts, inner rings, outer rings, and sink rings. The diameters of all compacts decreased by 0.5 to 2.0 %. Generally, the extent of diametric shrinkage increased linearly with increasing neutron fluence. Most compact lengths also decreased. Compact lengths decreased with increasing fluence, reaching maximum shrinkage of about 0.9 % at a fast fluence of 4.0x10 25 n/m 2 E > 0.18 MeV. Above this fluence, the extent of length shrinkage appeared to decrease with fluence, and two compacts from Capsule 7 were found to have slightly increased in length (< 0.1 %) after a fluence of 5.2x10 25 n/m 2.« less
  • The AGR-1 irradiation experiment ended on November 6, 2009, after 620 effective full power days in the Advanced Test Reactor, achieving a peak burnup of 19.6% FIMA. The test train was shipped to the Materials and Fuels Complex in March 2010 for post-irradiation examination. The first PIE activities included non-destructive examination of the test train, followed by disassembly of the test train and individual capsules and detailed inspection of the capsule contents, including the fuel compacts and the graphite fuel holders. Dimensional measurements of the compacts, graphite holders, and steel capsules shells were performed using a custom vision measurement systemmore » (for outer diameters and lengths) and conventional bore gauges (for inner diameters). Gamma spectrometry of the intact test train gave a preliminary look at the condition of the interior components. No evidence of damage to compacts or graphite components was evident from the isotopic and gross gamma scans. Neutron radiography of the intact Capsule 2 showed a high degree of detail of interior components and confirmed the observation that there was no major damage to the capsule. Disassembly of the capsules was initiated using procedures qualified during out-of-cell mockup testing. Difficulties were encountered during capsule disassembly due to irradiation-induced changes in some of the capsule components’ properties, including embrittled niobium and molybdenum parts that were susceptible to fracture and swelling of the graphite fuel holders that affected their removal from the capsule shells. This required various improvised modifications to the disassembly procedure to avoid damage to the fuel compacts. Ultimately the capsule disassembly was successful and only one compact from Capsule 4 (out of 72 total in the test train) sustained damage during the disassembly process, along with the associated graphite holder. The compacts were generally in very good condition upon removal. Only relatively minor damage or markings were visible using high resolution photographic inspection. Compact dimensional measurements indicated diametrical shrinkage of 0.9 to 1. 4%, and length shrinkage of 0.2 to 1.1%. The shrinkage was somewhat dependent on compact location within each capsule and within the test train. Compacts exhibited a maximum diametrical shrinkage at a fast neutron fluence of approximately 3×1021 n/cm2. A multivariate statistical analysis indicates that fast neutron fluence as well as compact position in the test train influence compact shrinkage.« less
  • The AGR 2 irradiation experiment began in June 2010 and was completed in October 2013. The test train was shipped to the Materials and Fuels Complex in July 2014 for post-irradiation examination (PIE). The first PIE activities included nondestructive examination of the test train, followed by disassembly of the test train and individual capsules and detailed inspection of the capsule contents, including the fuel compacts and their graphite fuel holders. Dimensional metrology was then performed on the compacts, graphite holders, and steel capsule shells. AGR 2 disassembly and metrology were performed with the same equipment used successfully on AGR 1more » test train components. Gamma spectrometry of the intact test train gave a preliminary look at the condition of the interior components. No evidence of damage to compacts or graphite components was evident from the isotopic and gross gamma scans. Disassembly of the AGR 2 test train and its capsules was conducted rapidly and efficiently by employing techniques refined during the AGR 1 disassembly campaign. Only one major difficulty was encountered while separating the test train into capsules when thermocouples (of larger diameter than used in AGR 1) and gas lines jammed inside the through tubes of the upper capsules, which required new tooling for extraction. Disassembly of individual capsules was straightforward with only a few minor complications. On the whole, AGR 2 capsule structural components appeared less embrittled than their AGR 1 counterparts. Compacts from AGR 2 Capsules 2, 3, 5, and 6 were in very good condition upon removal. Only relatively minor damage or markings were visible using high resolution photographic inspection. Compact dimensional measurements indicated radial shrinkage between 0.8 to 1.7%, with the greatest shrinkage observed on Capsule 2 compacts that were irradiated at higher temperature. Length shrinkage ranged from 0.1 to 0.9%, with by far the lowest axial shrinkage on Capsule 3 compacts—possibly as a consequence of lower packing fraction or larger particle size. Differences in fast neutron fluence among compacts from these four capsules had no obvious effect on radial and axial shrinkage. (The AGR 2 experiment included Capsule 1 containing French compacts and Capsule 4 with compacts made at Oak Ridge National Laboratory using South African fuel particles. Information on these two batches of AGR 2 fuel compacts is confined to restricted Appendices A and B because of proprietary information limitations.)« less