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Title: Development of LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. Final report

Abstract

After a tsunami triggered plant black out at the Fukushima Daiichi site, followed by hydrogen explosions, the US Department of Energy partnered with fuel vendors to study safer alternatives to the current UO2 – zirconium alloy fuel system. This accident tolerant fuel (ATF) alternative should better tolerate a loss of cooling in the core for a considerably longer time while maintaining or improving the fuel performance during normal operation conditions. General Electric, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and their partners are proposing to replace zirconium alloy cladding in current commercial light water power reactors with an iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) cladding such as APMT, C26M or FeCrAl ODS, which has been named IronClad by GE. Extensive testing and evaluation has been conducted to determine the suitability of FeCrAl for the entire fuel cycle from rod fabrication to used fuel disposition. Most of the environmental characterization was conducted to evaluate the behavior of IronClad under normal operation conditions and under severe accident conditions. Results show that FeCrAl has excellent corrosion resistance under normal operation conditions and FeCrAl is several orders of magnitude more resistant than zirconium alloys to degradation by superheated steam under accident conditions, generating less heat of oxidation and lower amount ofmore » combustible hydrogen gas. Higher parasitic neutron absorption and potential tritium release into the coolant effects can be minimized by design and operational measures. IronClad material can be manufactured using traditional melting and forging (C26M) or powder metallurgy processes (APMT & FeCrAl ODS). Tubes can be made to full length of 5 m with a wall thickness of 0.4 mm by pilgering or drawing. The fuel rods can be readily hermetically sealed in an industrial production setting by welding end caps to the thin wall tubing using either TIG or resistance welding. The implementation of FeCrAl IronClad cladding is a near term solution to enhance the safety of the current fleet of commercial light water power reactors.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. GE Global Research, Schenectady, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
General Electric Global Research Center, Schenectady, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1488931
Report Number(s):
DOE-NE0008221
TRN: US1902878
DOE Contract Number:  
NE0008221
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; Nuclear fuels; safety; accident tolerant; FeCrAl cladding; APMT; C26M; FeCrAl ODS

Citation Formats

Rebak, Raul B. Development of LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. Final report. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1488931.
Rebak, Raul B. Development of LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. Final report. United States. doi:10.2172/1488931.
Rebak, Raul B. Thu . "Development of LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. Final report". United States. doi:10.2172/1488931. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1488931.
@article{osti_1488931,
title = {Development of LWR fuels with enhanced accident tolerance. Final report},
author = {Rebak, Raul B.},
abstractNote = {After a tsunami triggered plant black out at the Fukushima Daiichi site, followed by hydrogen explosions, the US Department of Energy partnered with fuel vendors to study safer alternatives to the current UO2 – zirconium alloy fuel system. This accident tolerant fuel (ATF) alternative should better tolerate a loss of cooling in the core for a considerably longer time while maintaining or improving the fuel performance during normal operation conditions. General Electric, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and their partners are proposing to replace zirconium alloy cladding in current commercial light water power reactors with an iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) cladding such as APMT, C26M or FeCrAl ODS, which has been named IronClad by GE. Extensive testing and evaluation has been conducted to determine the suitability of FeCrAl for the entire fuel cycle from rod fabrication to used fuel disposition. Most of the environmental characterization was conducted to evaluate the behavior of IronClad under normal operation conditions and under severe accident conditions. Results show that FeCrAl has excellent corrosion resistance under normal operation conditions and FeCrAl is several orders of magnitude more resistant than zirconium alloys to degradation by superheated steam under accident conditions, generating less heat of oxidation and lower amount of combustible hydrogen gas. Higher parasitic neutron absorption and potential tritium release into the coolant effects can be minimized by design and operational measures. IronClad material can be manufactured using traditional melting and forging (C26M) or powder metallurgy processes (APMT & FeCrAl ODS). Tubes can be made to full length of 5 m with a wall thickness of 0.4 mm by pilgering or drawing. The fuel rods can be readily hermetically sealed in an industrial production setting by welding end caps to the thin wall tubing using either TIG or resistance welding. The implementation of FeCrAl IronClad cladding is a near term solution to enhance the safety of the current fleet of commercial light water power reactors.},
doi = {10.2172/1488931},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {12}
}