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Title: Acoustic sensors for fission gas characterization: R and D skills devoted to innovative instrumentation in MTR, non-destructive devices in hot lab facilities and specific transducers for measurements of LWR rods in nuclear plants

Abstract

First of all, we will present the main principle of the method. A piezoelectric transducer, driven by a pulse generator, generates the acoustic waves in a cavity that may be the fuel rod or a chamber connected to an instrumented rod. The composition determination consists in measuring the time of flight of the acoustic signal emitted. The pressure can be estimated by a calibration process, above the measurement of the amplitude of the signal. Two projects will then be detailed. The first project consists in the development of advanced instrumentation for in-pile experiments in Material Testing Reactor. It constitutes a main goal for the improvement of the nuclear fuel behavior knowledge. This acoustic method was tested with success during a first experiment called REMORA 3, and the results were used to differentiate helium and fission gas release kinetics under transient operating conditions. This experiment was lead at OSIRIS reactor (CEA Saclay, France). As a first step of the development program, we performed in-pile tests on the most sensitive component, i.e., the piezoelectric transducer. For this purpose, the active part of this sensor has been qualified on gamma and neutron radiations and at high temperature. Various industrial piezo-ceramics were exposed tomore » a high activity Cobalt source for few days. The cumulated dose was ranged from 50 kGy up to 2 MGy. Next, these devices were placed inside a Material Test Reactor to investigate their reliability towards neutron fluence. The final fluence after 150 days of irradiation was up to 1.6.10{sup 21}n/cm{sup 2} (for thermal neutron). Irreversible variations have been measured. Next, a specific sensor has been implemented on an instrumented fuel rod and tested in the frame of a REMORA 3 Irradiation test. It was the first experiment under high mixed, temperature neutron and gamma flux. A first irradiation phase took place in March 2010 in the OSIRIS reactor and in November 2010 for the second step of the irradiation. The instrumented fuel rod incorporating the ultrasonic gas composition sensor was finally irradiated during 2 weeks in nominal conditions. Neutronics calculation will be performed in order to calculate the thermal and fast neutron fluence and the gamma dose absorbed by acoustic sensor. A first evaluation gives a thermal fluence about 4,5.10{sup 19} n/cm{sup 2}, a fast neutrons fluence about 4,5.1018 n/cm{sup 2} and a total gamma dose up to 0,25 MGy The maximal temperature during the irradiation test was about 150 C. Although the ultrasonic sensor appears to be damaged, the optimization of the electrical attack parameters and the development of a new signal processing maintain the measurement feasibility up the end of the irradiation campaign. It was the first time that the composition of fission gas has been monitored all along an irradiation experiment in a MTR, giving access to the gas release kinetics. New researches involve thick film transducers produced by screen-printing process in order to propose piezoelectric structures for harsh temperature and irradiation measurements. The second project consists in the development of a non-destructive device that can be directly applied on a LWR fuel rod. The problem to be solved relates to the measurement of the fission gas pressure and composition in a fuel rod using a non-destructive method. Fuel rod internal pressure is one of the safety criteria applied in nuclear power analyses. This criterion must be verified in order to avoid any fuel-cladding gap reopening risk and therefore any local clad ballooning. Apart from the safety implications, this parameter is also a fuel behaviour indicator and reflects the overall fuel performance in operation, but also during shipping and long-term storage. Rod internal pressure is one criterion amongst others, like cladding corrosion, against which the acceptable fuel burn-up limit is set. A sensor has been achieved in 2007. A full-scale hot cell test of the internal gas pressure and composition measurement by an acoustic sensor was conducted successfully between 2008 and 2010 on 5 high burn-up MOX fuel rods and 2 very high burn-up UO{sub 2} fuel rods in LECA Facility at Cadarache Centre. An improvement of this sensor has been proposed, allowing us to divide by two the uncertainty on the pressure measurement. In the case of hot-cell measurements, viscous liquid can be used to couple the sensor with the rod. For gas content with a pressure exceeding 15 bars and a 10% Xe/Kr ratio, such coupling may reduce relative acoustic method accuracy by ±7% for pressure measurement result and ±0.25 % for the assessment of gas composition. These results make it possible to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique on LWR fuel rods. The transducer and the associated methodology are now operational for non-destructive measurements in hot lab facilities and allow characterising the fission gas without puncturing the fuel rods. Up to now, any other non-destructive method can be proposed. A next step will be the development of an industrial application in a fuel storage pool in order to perform a large number of measurements on a fuel assembly in nuclear plants.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. University Montpellier, IES, UMR 5214, F-34000, Montpellier (France)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - IEEE, 3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016-5997 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22531165
Report Number(s):
ANIMMA-2015-IO-103
TRN: US16V0383102106
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ANIMMA 2015: 4. International Conference on Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications, Lisboa (Portugal), 20-24 Apr 2015; Other Information: Country of input: France; 2 Refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CORROSION; FAST NEUTRONS; FISSION PRODUCTS; FUEL ASSEMBLIES; FUEL RODS; INDICATORS; IRRADIATION; MIXED OXIDE FUELS; NEUTRON TEMPERATURE; NONDESTRUCTIVE TESTING; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; OSIRIS REACTOR; PIEZOELECTRICITY; PULSE GENERATORS; SENSORS; SOUND WAVES; TEST REACTORS; THERMAL NEUTRONS; TIME-OF-FLIGHT METHOD; TRANSDUCERS

Citation Formats

Ferrandis, J. Y., Leveque, G., Rosenkrantz, E., Augereau, F., Combette, P., and CNRS, IES, UMR 5214, F-34000, Montpellier. Acoustic sensors for fission gas characterization: R and D skills devoted to innovative instrumentation in MTR, non-destructive devices in hot lab facilities and specific transducers for measurements of LWR rods in nuclear plants. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Ferrandis, J. Y., Leveque, G., Rosenkrantz, E., Augereau, F., Combette, P., & CNRS, IES, UMR 5214, F-34000, Montpellier. Acoustic sensors for fission gas characterization: R and D skills devoted to innovative instrumentation in MTR, non-destructive devices in hot lab facilities and specific transducers for measurements of LWR rods in nuclear plants. United States.
Ferrandis, J. Y., Leveque, G., Rosenkrantz, E., Augereau, F., Combette, P., and CNRS, IES, UMR 5214, F-34000, Montpellier. Wed . "Acoustic sensors for fission gas characterization: R and D skills devoted to innovative instrumentation in MTR, non-destructive devices in hot lab facilities and specific transducers for measurements of LWR rods in nuclear plants". United States.
@article{osti_22531165,
title = {Acoustic sensors for fission gas characterization: R and D skills devoted to innovative instrumentation in MTR, non-destructive devices in hot lab facilities and specific transducers for measurements of LWR rods in nuclear plants},
author = {Ferrandis, J. Y. and Leveque, G. and Rosenkrantz, E. and Augereau, F. and Combette, P. and CNRS, IES, UMR 5214, F-34000, Montpellier},
abstractNote = {First of all, we will present the main principle of the method. A piezoelectric transducer, driven by a pulse generator, generates the acoustic waves in a cavity that may be the fuel rod or a chamber connected to an instrumented rod. The composition determination consists in measuring the time of flight of the acoustic signal emitted. The pressure can be estimated by a calibration process, above the measurement of the amplitude of the signal. Two projects will then be detailed. The first project consists in the development of advanced instrumentation for in-pile experiments in Material Testing Reactor. It constitutes a main goal for the improvement of the nuclear fuel behavior knowledge. This acoustic method was tested with success during a first experiment called REMORA 3, and the results were used to differentiate helium and fission gas release kinetics under transient operating conditions. This experiment was lead at OSIRIS reactor (CEA Saclay, France). As a first step of the development program, we performed in-pile tests on the most sensitive component, i.e., the piezoelectric transducer. For this purpose, the active part of this sensor has been qualified on gamma and neutron radiations and at high temperature. Various industrial piezo-ceramics were exposed to a high activity Cobalt source for few days. The cumulated dose was ranged from 50 kGy up to 2 MGy. Next, these devices were placed inside a Material Test Reactor to investigate their reliability towards neutron fluence. The final fluence after 150 days of irradiation was up to 1.6.10{sup 21}n/cm{sup 2} (for thermal neutron). Irreversible variations have been measured. Next, a specific sensor has been implemented on an instrumented fuel rod and tested in the frame of a REMORA 3 Irradiation test. It was the first experiment under high mixed, temperature neutron and gamma flux. A first irradiation phase took place in March 2010 in the OSIRIS reactor and in November 2010 for the second step of the irradiation. The instrumented fuel rod incorporating the ultrasonic gas composition sensor was finally irradiated during 2 weeks in nominal conditions. Neutronics calculation will be performed in order to calculate the thermal and fast neutron fluence and the gamma dose absorbed by acoustic sensor. A first evaluation gives a thermal fluence about 4,5.10{sup 19} n/cm{sup 2}, a fast neutrons fluence about 4,5.1018 n/cm{sup 2} and a total gamma dose up to 0,25 MGy The maximal temperature during the irradiation test was about 150 C. Although the ultrasonic sensor appears to be damaged, the optimization of the electrical attack parameters and the development of a new signal processing maintain the measurement feasibility up the end of the irradiation campaign. It was the first time that the composition of fission gas has been monitored all along an irradiation experiment in a MTR, giving access to the gas release kinetics. New researches involve thick film transducers produced by screen-printing process in order to propose piezoelectric structures for harsh temperature and irradiation measurements. The second project consists in the development of a non-destructive device that can be directly applied on a LWR fuel rod. The problem to be solved relates to the measurement of the fission gas pressure and composition in a fuel rod using a non-destructive method. Fuel rod internal pressure is one of the safety criteria applied in nuclear power analyses. This criterion must be verified in order to avoid any fuel-cladding gap reopening risk and therefore any local clad ballooning. Apart from the safety implications, this parameter is also a fuel behaviour indicator and reflects the overall fuel performance in operation, but also during shipping and long-term storage. Rod internal pressure is one criterion amongst others, like cladding corrosion, against which the acceptable fuel burn-up limit is set. A sensor has been achieved in 2007. A full-scale hot cell test of the internal gas pressure and composition measurement by an acoustic sensor was conducted successfully between 2008 and 2010 on 5 high burn-up MOX fuel rods and 2 very high burn-up UO{sub 2} fuel rods in LECA Facility at Cadarache Centre. An improvement of this sensor has been proposed, allowing us to divide by two the uncertainty on the pressure measurement. In the case of hot-cell measurements, viscous liquid can be used to couple the sensor with the rod. For gas content with a pressure exceeding 15 bars and a 10% Xe/Kr ratio, such coupling may reduce relative acoustic method accuracy by ±7% for pressure measurement result and ±0.25 % for the assessment of gas composition. These results make it possible to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique on LWR fuel rods. The transducer and the associated methodology are now operational for non-destructive measurements in hot lab facilities and allow characterising the fission gas without puncturing the fuel rods. Up to now, any other non-destructive method can be proposed. A next step will be the development of an industrial application in a fuel storage pool in order to perform a large number of measurements on a fuel assembly in nuclear plants.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {7}
}

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