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Title: Statistical Analysis in Support of Control Fuel Temperature for the Advanced Gas Reactor Experiments

Abstract

There are four completed tests among a series of Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) irradiation experiments that are being conducted within the Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART) Fuel Development and Qualification Program. The main objectives of the fuel experimental campaigns are to provide the necessary data on fuel performance to support fuel process development, qualify a fuel design and fabrication process for normal operation and hypothetical accident conditions, and support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes.1 Since this tristructural isotropic fuel is qualified to be used in high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs), it is essential that the testing conditions of fuel irradiations are designed to mimic those in the conceptual gas reactors. As a result, temperatures of the AGR test fuel have to be maintained within a specified range that is typical of the HTGRs. In each AGR capsule, the test fuel temperature is controlled independently using a variable fraction neon and helium gas mixture that fills the gap volume for each capsule. The temperature as measured by a thermocouple (TC) terminated in the graphite holder (which houses fuel compacts) is used as a feedback for the gas flow controllers. Direct temperature measurement for fuelmore » compacts is not possible because contact between a TC head and fuel particle could lead to undesirable failures. Therefore, an ABAQUS based finite element thermal model was created to predict the daily average fuel temperatures during the entire irradiation period.2,3 It is well-known that extended exposure to neutron irradiation and high temperatures leads to changes in geometries of fuel compacts and graphite holder, which result in changes of the gas gap leading to a change in the relationship between TC and fuel temperatures. In addition, TCs are also expected to drift and sometimes fail under irradiation conditions. These facts make maintaining test fuel temperature within a specified range challenging. This paper describes how the regression analysis methods are used in conjunction of calculated fuel temperatures from early irradiation periods (when irradiation effect is relatively small) to effectively control fuel temperature for the remaining irradiation, when irradiation effect became profound. This is particularly important in the event of all TCs in a capsule fail.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1601287
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-17-40949-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANS, San Francisco, CA, 06/11/2017 - 06/15/2017
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 - NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; Advanced Gas Reactor; Thermal Model; high temperature gas-cooled reactors

Citation Formats

Pham, Binh, Lybeck, Nancy J., Hawkes, Grant, and Einerson, Jeff. Statistical Analysis in Support of Control Fuel Temperature for the Advanced Gas Reactor Experiments. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Pham, Binh, Lybeck, Nancy J., Hawkes, Grant, & Einerson, Jeff. Statistical Analysis in Support of Control Fuel Temperature for the Advanced Gas Reactor Experiments. United States.
Pham, Binh, Lybeck, Nancy J., Hawkes, Grant, and Einerson, Jeff. Sat . "Statistical Analysis in Support of Control Fuel Temperature for the Advanced Gas Reactor Experiments". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1601287.
@article{osti_1601287,
title = {Statistical Analysis in Support of Control Fuel Temperature for the Advanced Gas Reactor Experiments},
author = {Pham, Binh and Lybeck, Nancy J. and Hawkes, Grant and Einerson, Jeff},
abstractNote = {There are four completed tests among a series of Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) irradiation experiments that are being conducted within the Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART) Fuel Development and Qualification Program. The main objectives of the fuel experimental campaigns are to provide the necessary data on fuel performance to support fuel process development, qualify a fuel design and fabrication process for normal operation and hypothetical accident conditions, and support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes.1 Since this tristructural isotropic fuel is qualified to be used in high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs), it is essential that the testing conditions of fuel irradiations are designed to mimic those in the conceptual gas reactors. As a result, temperatures of the AGR test fuel have to be maintained within a specified range that is typical of the HTGRs. In each AGR capsule, the test fuel temperature is controlled independently using a variable fraction neon and helium gas mixture that fills the gap volume for each capsule. The temperature as measured by a thermocouple (TC) terminated in the graphite holder (which houses fuel compacts) is used as a feedback for the gas flow controllers. Direct temperature measurement for fuel compacts is not possible because contact between a TC head and fuel particle could lead to undesirable failures. Therefore, an ABAQUS based finite element thermal model was created to predict the daily average fuel temperatures during the entire irradiation period.2,3 It is well-known that extended exposure to neutron irradiation and high temperatures leads to changes in geometries of fuel compacts and graphite holder, which result in changes of the gas gap leading to a change in the relationship between TC and fuel temperatures. In addition, TCs are also expected to drift and sometimes fail under irradiation conditions. These facts make maintaining test fuel temperature within a specified range challenging. This paper describes how the regression analysis methods are used in conjunction of calculated fuel temperatures from early irradiation periods (when irradiation effect is relatively small) to effectively control fuel temperature for the remaining irradiation, when irradiation effect became profound. This is particularly important in the event of all TCs in a capsule fail.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {6}
}

Conference:
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