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Title: Separate-Effects Validation Experiments for Models of Fracture in Ceramic Nuclear Fuel

Abstract

A number of advances have recently been made in modeling fracture initiation and propagation in ceramic light water reactor (LWR) fuel. These include the use of techniques such as peridynamics, the extended finite element method (XFEM), the discrete element method (DEM), and phase field fracture. Improved predictions of fracture in LWR fuel can benefit fuel performance simulations in a number of ways, with important implications for radial relocation, pellet-cladding mechanical interactions, and fragmentation during accident conditions. Although these modeling approaches appear promising, to-date most of their applications have been to fresh fuel. A major limitation in applying these approaches with confidence to a wider variety of conditions, such as fragmentation of high-burnup fuel, is that there is very limited data that can be directly used to validate the results of these fracture models. While fracture patterns are available from cross-sections of numerous irradiated fuel rods, the fuel rods have typically been subjected to complex irradiation histories. To validate models of fracture propagation, focused experiments that give snapshots of the initiation and propagation of fracture under well characterized prototypical reactor conditions are needed. Under a multi-institutional U.S. Department of Energy Integrated Research Project (IRP), three separate-effects validation experiments are underway tomore » provide information on the propagation of cracks in LWR fuel under controlled conditions. The primary challenge in developing such an experiment is in providing conditions that result in a radial temperature distribution that is prototypical of LWR in-reactor conditions. Two out-of-reactor experiments are being planned that employ very different approaches to achieve such a temperature distribution. The first of these achieves this by employing a combination of inductive and resistive electrical heating to generate volumetric heating. The second experiment involves slowly heating a pellet in a metal rod to a high temperature, and then quenching that rod in a cold bath. The quenching process generates a temperature profile approximating that in an LWR fuel rod for a moment, but has a very different temperature history from the LWR. Finally, an experiment is being planned for the Idaho National Laboratory TREAT reactor that will use nuclear fission as a heat source, and which will employ a metal heat sink to replicate the thermal conditions provided by coolant in an LWR. These experiments all have their advantages and drawbacks, with varying levels of ability to reproduce actual LWR conditions and varying ability to use instruments to monitor quantities of interest over the course of the experiment that can be used to validate fracture models. For that reason, these different experimental approaches are complimentary to each other, and the combined results are expected to significantly improve confidence in the ability of computational models to simulate fracture in ceramic nuclear fuel.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [3];  [4]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
  2. University of South Carolina
  3. Texas A&M University
  4. University of Pittsburg
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1572456
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-19-52564-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Top Fuel 2019, Seattle, WA, 09/22/2019 - 09/26/2019
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 - GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; Ceramic Nuclear Fuel; Fracture; Validation

Citation Formats

Spencer, Benjamin W, Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E, Emerson, Leigh A, Yeh, Juyuan, Imholte, Devin D, Hill, Connie M, Chapman, Daniel B, Jensen, Colby B, Knight, Travis W., Patnaik, Sobhan, McDeavitt, Sean M., Ortega, Luis, Perez-Nunez, Delia, and Ban, Heng. Separate-Effects Validation Experiments for Models of Fracture in Ceramic Nuclear Fuel. United States: N. p., 2019. Web.
Spencer, Benjamin W, Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E, Emerson, Leigh A, Yeh, Juyuan, Imholte, Devin D, Hill, Connie M, Chapman, Daniel B, Jensen, Colby B, Knight, Travis W., Patnaik, Sobhan, McDeavitt, Sean M., Ortega, Luis, Perez-Nunez, Delia, & Ban, Heng. Separate-Effects Validation Experiments for Models of Fracture in Ceramic Nuclear Fuel. United States.
Spencer, Benjamin W, Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E, Emerson, Leigh A, Yeh, Juyuan, Imholte, Devin D, Hill, Connie M, Chapman, Daniel B, Jensen, Colby B, Knight, Travis W., Patnaik, Sobhan, McDeavitt, Sean M., Ortega, Luis, Perez-Nunez, Delia, and Ban, Heng. Thu . "Separate-Effects Validation Experiments for Models of Fracture in Ceramic Nuclear Fuel". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1572456.
@article{osti_1572456,
title = {Separate-Effects Validation Experiments for Models of Fracture in Ceramic Nuclear Fuel},
author = {Spencer, Benjamin W and Woolstenhulme, Nicolas E and Emerson, Leigh A and Yeh, Juyuan and Imholte, Devin D and Hill, Connie M and Chapman, Daniel B and Jensen, Colby B and Knight, Travis W. and Patnaik, Sobhan and McDeavitt, Sean M. and Ortega, Luis and Perez-Nunez, Delia and Ban, Heng},
abstractNote = {A number of advances have recently been made in modeling fracture initiation and propagation in ceramic light water reactor (LWR) fuel. These include the use of techniques such as peridynamics, the extended finite element method (XFEM), the discrete element method (DEM), and phase field fracture. Improved predictions of fracture in LWR fuel can benefit fuel performance simulations in a number of ways, with important implications for radial relocation, pellet-cladding mechanical interactions, and fragmentation during accident conditions. Although these modeling approaches appear promising, to-date most of their applications have been to fresh fuel. A major limitation in applying these approaches with confidence to a wider variety of conditions, such as fragmentation of high-burnup fuel, is that there is very limited data that can be directly used to validate the results of these fracture models. While fracture patterns are available from cross-sections of numerous irradiated fuel rods, the fuel rods have typically been subjected to complex irradiation histories. To validate models of fracture propagation, focused experiments that give snapshots of the initiation and propagation of fracture under well characterized prototypical reactor conditions are needed. Under a multi-institutional U.S. Department of Energy Integrated Research Project (IRP), three separate-effects validation experiments are underway to provide information on the propagation of cracks in LWR fuel under controlled conditions. The primary challenge in developing such an experiment is in providing conditions that result in a radial temperature distribution that is prototypical of LWR in-reactor conditions. Two out-of-reactor experiments are being planned that employ very different approaches to achieve such a temperature distribution. The first of these achieves this by employing a combination of inductive and resistive electrical heating to generate volumetric heating. The second experiment involves slowly heating a pellet in a metal rod to a high temperature, and then quenching that rod in a cold bath. The quenching process generates a temperature profile approximating that in an LWR fuel rod for a moment, but has a very different temperature history from the LWR. Finally, an experiment is being planned for the Idaho National Laboratory TREAT reactor that will use nuclear fission as a heat source, and which will employ a metal heat sink to replicate the thermal conditions provided by coolant in an LWR. These experiments all have their advantages and drawbacks, with varying levels of ability to reproduce actual LWR conditions and varying ability to use instruments to monitor quantities of interest over the course of the experiment that can be used to validate fracture models. For that reason, these different experimental approaches are complimentary to each other, and the combined results are expected to significantly improve confidence in the ability of computational models to simulate fracture in ceramic nuclear fuel.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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