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Title: Measurement of Fission Product Concentration Profiles in AGR-3/4 TRISO Fuel Graphitic Matrix and Nuclear Graphites

Abstract

The third Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) irradiation experiment, AGR-3/4, was designed to investigate the migration of fission products in fuel compact graphitic matrix and reactor graphite components. Using destructive methods, radial fission product concentration profiles were measured for gamma-emitting fission products (e.g., Ag-110m, Cs-134, and Eu-154) and beta-emitting Sr-90 in irradiated graphitic and graphite components from six different AGR-3/4 irradiation capsules. These new measured concentration profiles can now be compared to non-destructive measurements and fission product transport simulations and will be used to derive new diffusivities and sorptivities to support refinement of fission product transport models and high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) source-term analyses. Each capsule in the AGR-3/4 experiment had four fuel compacts in the middle of two concentric rings of graphitic matrix material, PCEA graphite, or IG-110 graphite. In addition to the approximately 1898 tristructural isotropic (TRISO) coated particles in each compact, there were 20 designed to fail (DTF) particles coated only in pyrocarbon so that they released fission products into the surrounding cylindrical rings of carbonaceous materials. Destructive sampling of the rings involved machining/milling material from around the circumference of the rings, collecting that material, and performing radiochemical analyses on it. Milling operations were performed in multiple stepsmore » or segments, and each segment was generally 0.508 mm (0.020 in) thick. Knowing the radial position at which each segment was milled, the volume of the milled material at each segment, and the fission product content in each segment, the radial fission product concentrations were constructed for select isotopes in each ring. Ag-110m profiles had the most variation. Some profiles were peaked at an inner or outer surface. Some were peaked at the middle of the ring wall thickness. Some increased radially outward, and some decreased radially outward. These types of variations and the fact that the measured profiles do not generally compare favorably with the transport model employed for AGR-3/4 may adversely impact the ability to extract reasonable transport parameters for this isotope. In many cases, the Cs-134 profiles decreased somewhat linearly in the outward radial direction, and in cursory comparisons, the shapes of these profiles appeared similar to those from model predictions. The step changes in concentration across the inner-outer ring gap were generally consistent with the model predictions as well. In some cases, there were local maxima in concentration at the outer surface of the rings. This suggests that fission products could have transported in the small gaps between the inner ring and the outer ring and between the outer ring and the sink ring such that some portion of a given fission product can bypass diffusion through the ring itself. The analysis of the small nubs on the outer surfaces of some of the outer rings revealed fission product concentrations in the nubs that were often higher than in the outermost segments of the rings. This further supports the hypothesis that short-circuit, gap transport occurred, causing relatively high surface concentrations on the outer surfaces of the rings. Eu-154 and Sr-90 profiles tend to have very similar shapes, suggesting that they transport via the same mechanisms. The observed profiles were indicative of a transport process where the isotopes are sorbed on the inner surface of the ring, but diffusion into the ring from that surface is quite slow. Some elevated concentrations of Sr-90 (relative to Eu-154) on the outer surface of a ring suggested that rapid, gas-gap transport of gaseous precursor Kr-90 and volatile Rb-90 could have occurred prior to their decaying to Sr-90. Overall, the Eu 154 and Sr-90 profiles were still very similar, which indicates that the transport of short-lived Sr-90 precursors is not a major effect. In some capsules, the qualitative Sr-90 behavior across the ring gaps was consistent with the model (using the available legacy Sr-90 transport parameters), but in other capsules the model was inconsistent with the measurements and seems to underestimate the amount of Sr-90 in the outer rings. The total ring Sr-90 inventories were estimated for all the rings that were subject to physical sampling. These results will be used to adjust the predicted particle and/or compact releases used in the AGR-3/4 fission product transport model. Given the different irradiation temperatures among the capsules and the rings, it was not possible to discern fundamental differences in the transport of isotopes within the different carbon materials, i.e., graphitic matrix, IG-110, or PCEA. It may be possible to do this in the course of determining transport from the concentration profiles in future work.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1811841
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-21-62863-Rev000
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Program Document
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 - NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; TRISO; graphite; graphitic matrix; fission product transport; fission product concentration profiles

Citation Formats

Stempien, John D. Measurement of Fission Product Concentration Profiles in AGR-3/4 TRISO Fuel Graphitic Matrix and Nuclear Graphites. United States: N. p., 2021. Web.
Stempien, John D. Measurement of Fission Product Concentration Profiles in AGR-3/4 TRISO Fuel Graphitic Matrix and Nuclear Graphites. United States.
Stempien, John D. 2021. "Measurement of Fission Product Concentration Profiles in AGR-3/4 TRISO Fuel Graphitic Matrix and Nuclear Graphites". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1811841.
@article{osti_1811841,
title = {Measurement of Fission Product Concentration Profiles in AGR-3/4 TRISO Fuel Graphitic Matrix and Nuclear Graphites},
author = {Stempien, John D},
abstractNote = {The third Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) irradiation experiment, AGR-3/4, was designed to investigate the migration of fission products in fuel compact graphitic matrix and reactor graphite components. Using destructive methods, radial fission product concentration profiles were measured for gamma-emitting fission products (e.g., Ag-110m, Cs-134, and Eu-154) and beta-emitting Sr-90 in irradiated graphitic and graphite components from six different AGR-3/4 irradiation capsules. These new measured concentration profiles can now be compared to non-destructive measurements and fission product transport simulations and will be used to derive new diffusivities and sorptivities to support refinement of fission product transport models and high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) source-term analyses. Each capsule in the AGR-3/4 experiment had four fuel compacts in the middle of two concentric rings of graphitic matrix material, PCEA graphite, or IG-110 graphite. In addition to the approximately 1898 tristructural isotropic (TRISO) coated particles in each compact, there were 20 designed to fail (DTF) particles coated only in pyrocarbon so that they released fission products into the surrounding cylindrical rings of carbonaceous materials. Destructive sampling of the rings involved machining/milling material from around the circumference of the rings, collecting that material, and performing radiochemical analyses on it. Milling operations were performed in multiple steps or segments, and each segment was generally 0.508 mm (0.020 in) thick. Knowing the radial position at which each segment was milled, the volume of the milled material at each segment, and the fission product content in each segment, the radial fission product concentrations were constructed for select isotopes in each ring. Ag-110m profiles had the most variation. Some profiles were peaked at an inner or outer surface. Some were peaked at the middle of the ring wall thickness. Some increased radially outward, and some decreased radially outward. These types of variations and the fact that the measured profiles do not generally compare favorably with the transport model employed for AGR-3/4 may adversely impact the ability to extract reasonable transport parameters for this isotope. In many cases, the Cs-134 profiles decreased somewhat linearly in the outward radial direction, and in cursory comparisons, the shapes of these profiles appeared similar to those from model predictions. The step changes in concentration across the inner-outer ring gap were generally consistent with the model predictions as well. In some cases, there were local maxima in concentration at the outer surface of the rings. This suggests that fission products could have transported in the small gaps between the inner ring and the outer ring and between the outer ring and the sink ring such that some portion of a given fission product can bypass diffusion through the ring itself. The analysis of the small nubs on the outer surfaces of some of the outer rings revealed fission product concentrations in the nubs that were often higher than in the outermost segments of the rings. This further supports the hypothesis that short-circuit, gap transport occurred, causing relatively high surface concentrations on the outer surfaces of the rings. Eu-154 and Sr-90 profiles tend to have very similar shapes, suggesting that they transport via the same mechanisms. The observed profiles were indicative of a transport process where the isotopes are sorbed on the inner surface of the ring, but diffusion into the ring from that surface is quite slow. Some elevated concentrations of Sr-90 (relative to Eu-154) on the outer surface of a ring suggested that rapid, gas-gap transport of gaseous precursor Kr-90 and volatile Rb-90 could have occurred prior to their decaying to Sr-90. Overall, the Eu 154 and Sr-90 profiles were still very similar, which indicates that the transport of short-lived Sr-90 precursors is not a major effect. In some capsules, the qualitative Sr-90 behavior across the ring gaps was consistent with the model (using the available legacy Sr-90 transport parameters), but in other capsules the model was inconsistent with the measurements and seems to underestimate the amount of Sr-90 in the outer rings. The total ring Sr-90 inventories were estimated for all the rings that were subject to physical sampling. These results will be used to adjust the predicted particle and/or compact releases used in the AGR-3/4 fission product transport model. Given the different irradiation temperatures among the capsules and the rings, it was not possible to discern fundamental differences in the transport of isotopes within the different carbon materials, i.e., graphitic matrix, IG-110, or PCEA. It may be possible to do this in the course of determining transport from the concentration profiles in future work.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1811841}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2021},
month = {6}
}

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