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Title: Determination of He and D permeability of neutron-irradiated SiC tubes to examine the potential for release due to micro-cracking

Abstract

Driven by the need to enlarge the safety margins of light water reactors in both design-basis and beyond-design-basis accident scenarios, the research and development of accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) has become an importance topic in the nuclear engineering and materials community. Continuous SiC fiber-reinforced SiC matrix ceramic composites are under consideration as a replacement for traditional zirconium alloy cladding owing to their high-temperature stability, chemical inertness, and exceptional irradiation resistance. Among the key technical feasibility issues, potential failure of the fission product containment due to probabilistic penetrating cracking has been identified as one of the two most critical feasibility issues, together with the radiolysisassisted hydrothermal corrosion of SiC. The experimental capability to evaluate the hermeticity of SiC-based claddings is an urgent need. In this report, we present the development of a comprehensive permeation testing station established in the Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Preliminary results for the hermeticity evaluation of un-irradiated monolithic SiC tubes, uncoated and coated SiC/SiC composite tubes, and neutron-irradiated monolithic SiC tubes at room temperature are exhibited. The results indicate that this new permeation testing station is capable of evaluating the hermeticity of SiC-based tubes by determining the helium and deuteriummore » permeation flux as a function of gas pressure at a high resolution of 8.07 x 10 -12 atm-cc/s for helium and 2.83 x 10 -12 atm-cc/s for deuterium, respectively. The detection limit of this system is sufficient to evaluate the maximum allowable helium leakage rate of lab-scale tubular samples, which is linearly extrapolated from the evaluation standard used for a commercial as-manufactured light water reactor fuel rod at room temperature. The un-irradiated monolithic SiC tube is hermetic, as is manifested by the un-detectable deuterium permeation flux at various feeding gas pressures. A large helium leakage rate was detected for the uncoated SiC/SiC composite tube exposed to atmosphere, indicating it is inherently not hermetic. The hermeticity of coated SiC/SiC composite tubes is strongly dependent on the coating materials and the preparation of the substrate SiC/SiC composite samples. To simulate the practical application environment, monolithic CVD SiC tubes were exposed to neutron irradiation at the High Flux Isotope Reactor under high heat flux from the internal surface to the external surface. Although finite element analysis and resonant ultrasound spectroscopy measurement indicated that the combined neutron irradiation and high heat flux gave rise to a high probability of cracking within the sample, the hermeticity evaluation of the tested sample still exhibited gas tightness, emphasizing that SiC cracking is inherently a statistical phenomenon. The developed permeation testing station is capable of measuring the gas permeation flux in the range of interest with full confidence based on the presented results. It is considered a critical pre- /post-irradiation examination technique to characterize SiC-based cladding materials in asreceived and irradiated states to aid the research and development of ATF.« 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
OSTI Identifier:
1394374
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2017/362
100354
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS

Citation Formats

Katoh, Yutai, Hu, Xunxiang, Koyanagi, Takaaki, and Singh, Gyanender P. Determination of He and D permeability of neutron-irradiated SiC tubes to examine the potential for release due to micro-cracking. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1394374.
Katoh, Yutai, Hu, Xunxiang, Koyanagi, Takaaki, & Singh, Gyanender P. Determination of He and D permeability of neutron-irradiated SiC tubes to examine the potential for release due to micro-cracking. United States. doi:10.2172/1394374.
Katoh, Yutai, Hu, Xunxiang, Koyanagi, Takaaki, and Singh, Gyanender P. Sat . "Determination of He and D permeability of neutron-irradiated SiC tubes to examine the potential for release due to micro-cracking". United States. doi:10.2172/1394374. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1394374.
@article{osti_1394374,
title = {Determination of He and D permeability of neutron-irradiated SiC tubes to examine the potential for release due to micro-cracking},
author = {Katoh, Yutai and Hu, Xunxiang and Koyanagi, Takaaki and Singh, Gyanender P.},
abstractNote = {Driven by the need to enlarge the safety margins of light water reactors in both design-basis and beyond-design-basis accident scenarios, the research and development of accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) has become an importance topic in the nuclear engineering and materials community. Continuous SiC fiber-reinforced SiC matrix ceramic composites are under consideration as a replacement for traditional zirconium alloy cladding owing to their high-temperature stability, chemical inertness, and exceptional irradiation resistance. Among the key technical feasibility issues, potential failure of the fission product containment due to probabilistic penetrating cracking has been identified as one of the two most critical feasibility issues, together with the radiolysisassisted hydrothermal corrosion of SiC. The experimental capability to evaluate the hermeticity of SiC-based claddings is an urgent need. In this report, we present the development of a comprehensive permeation testing station established in the Low Activation Materials Development and Analysis laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Preliminary results for the hermeticity evaluation of un-irradiated monolithic SiC tubes, uncoated and coated SiC/SiC composite tubes, and neutron-irradiated monolithic SiC tubes at room temperature are exhibited. The results indicate that this new permeation testing station is capable of evaluating the hermeticity of SiC-based tubes by determining the helium and deuterium permeation flux as a function of gas pressure at a high resolution of 8.07 x 10-12 atm-cc/s for helium and 2.83 x 10-12 atm-cc/s for deuterium, respectively. The detection limit of this system is sufficient to evaluate the maximum allowable helium leakage rate of lab-scale tubular samples, which is linearly extrapolated from the evaluation standard used for a commercial as-manufactured light water reactor fuel rod at room temperature. The un-irradiated monolithic SiC tube is hermetic, as is manifested by the un-detectable deuterium permeation flux at various feeding gas pressures. A large helium leakage rate was detected for the uncoated SiC/SiC composite tube exposed to atmosphere, indicating it is inherently not hermetic. The hermeticity of coated SiC/SiC composite tubes is strongly dependent on the coating materials and the preparation of the substrate SiC/SiC composite samples. To simulate the practical application environment, monolithic CVD SiC tubes were exposed to neutron irradiation at the High Flux Isotope Reactor under high heat flux from the internal surface to the external surface. Although finite element analysis and resonant ultrasound spectroscopy measurement indicated that the combined neutron irradiation and high heat flux gave rise to a high probability of cracking within the sample, the hermeticity evaluation of the tested sample still exhibited gas tightness, emphasizing that SiC cracking is inherently a statistical phenomenon. The developed permeation testing station is capable of measuring the gas permeation flux in the range of interest with full confidence based on the presented results. It is considered a critical pre- /post-irradiation examination technique to characterize SiC-based cladding materials in asreceived and irradiated states to aid the research and development of ATF.},
doi = {10.2172/1394374},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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