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Title: Assembly and Delivery of Rabbit Capsules for Irradiation of Silicon Carbide Cladding Tube Specimens in the High Flux Isotope Reactor

Abstract

Neutron irradiation of silicon carbide (SiC)-based fuel cladding under a high radial heat flux presents a critical challenge for SiC cladding concepts in light water reactors (LWRs). Fission heating in the fuel provides a high heat flux through the cladding, which, combined with the degraded thermal conductivity of SiC under irradiation, results in a large temperature gradient through the thickness of the cladding. The strong temperature dependence of swelling in SiC creates a complex stress profile in SiCbased cladding tubes as a result of differential swelling. The Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) Program within the US Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy is supporting research efforts to improve the scientific understanding of the effects of irradiation on SiC cladding tubes. Ultimately, the results of this project will provide experimental validation of multi-physics models for SiC-based fuel cladding during LWR operation. The first objective of this project is to irradiate tube specimens using a previously developed design that allows for irradiation testing of miniature SiC tube specimens subjected to a high radial heat flux. The previous “rabbit” capsule design uses the gamma heating in the core of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to drive a high heat flux throughmore » the cladding tube specimens. A compressible aluminum foil allows for a constant thermal contact conductance between the cladding tubes and the rabbit housing despite swelling of the SiC tubes. To allow separation of the effects of irradiation from those due to differential swelling under a high heat flux, a new design was developed under the NSUF program. This design allows for irradiation of similar SiC cladding tube specimens without a high radial heat flux. This report briefly describes the irradiation experiment design concepts, summarizes the irradiation test matrix, and reports on the successful delivery of six rabbit capsules to the HFIR. Rabbits of both low and high heat flux configurations have been assembled, welded, evaluated, and delivered to the HFIR along with a complete quality assurance fabrication package. These rabbits contain a wide variety of specimens including monolith tubes, SiC fiber SiC matrix (SiC/SiC) composites, duplex specimens (inner composite, outer monolith), and specimens with a variety of metallic or ceramic coatings on the outer surface. The rabbits are targeted for insertion during HFIR cycle 475, which is scheduled for September 2017.« less

Authors:
 [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:
1394375
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2017/433
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Koyanagi, Takaaki, and Petrie, Christian M. Assembly and Delivery of Rabbit Capsules for Irradiation of Silicon Carbide Cladding Tube Specimens in the High Flux Isotope Reactor. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1394375.
Koyanagi, Takaaki, & Petrie, Christian M. Assembly and Delivery of Rabbit Capsules for Irradiation of Silicon Carbide Cladding Tube Specimens in the High Flux Isotope Reactor. United States. doi:10.2172/1394375.
Koyanagi, Takaaki, and Petrie, Christian M. Fri . "Assembly and Delivery of Rabbit Capsules for Irradiation of Silicon Carbide Cladding Tube Specimens in the High Flux Isotope Reactor". United States. doi:10.2172/1394375. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1394375.
@article{osti_1394375,
title = {Assembly and Delivery of Rabbit Capsules for Irradiation of Silicon Carbide Cladding Tube Specimens in the High Flux Isotope Reactor},
author = {Koyanagi, Takaaki and Petrie, Christian M.},
abstractNote = {Neutron irradiation of silicon carbide (SiC)-based fuel cladding under a high radial heat flux presents a critical challenge for SiC cladding concepts in light water reactors (LWRs). Fission heating in the fuel provides a high heat flux through the cladding, which, combined with the degraded thermal conductivity of SiC under irradiation, results in a large temperature gradient through the thickness of the cladding. The strong temperature dependence of swelling in SiC creates a complex stress profile in SiCbased cladding tubes as a result of differential swelling. The Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) Program within the US Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy is supporting research efforts to improve the scientific understanding of the effects of irradiation on SiC cladding tubes. Ultimately, the results of this project will provide experimental validation of multi-physics models for SiC-based fuel cladding during LWR operation. The first objective of this project is to irradiate tube specimens using a previously developed design that allows for irradiation testing of miniature SiC tube specimens subjected to a high radial heat flux. The previous “rabbit” capsule design uses the gamma heating in the core of the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to drive a high heat flux through the cladding tube specimens. A compressible aluminum foil allows for a constant thermal contact conductance between the cladding tubes and the rabbit housing despite swelling of the SiC tubes. To allow separation of the effects of irradiation from those due to differential swelling under a high heat flux, a new design was developed under the NSUF program. This design allows for irradiation of similar SiC cladding tube specimens without a high radial heat flux. This report briefly describes the irradiation experiment design concepts, summarizes the irradiation test matrix, and reports on the successful delivery of six rabbit capsules to the HFIR. Rabbits of both low and high heat flux configurations have been assembled, welded, evaluated, and delivered to the HFIR along with a complete quality assurance fabrication package. These rabbits contain a wide variety of specimens including monolith tubes, SiC fiber SiC matrix (SiC/SiC) composites, duplex specimens (inner composite, outer monolith), and specimens with a variety of metallic or ceramic coatings on the outer surface. The rabbits are targeted for insertion during HFIR cycle 475, which is scheduled for September 2017.},
doi = {10.2172/1394375},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {9}
}

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