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Title: Design and Status of RERTR Irradiation Tests in the Advanced Test Reactor

Abstract

Irradiation testing of U-Mo based fuels is the central component of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program fuel qualification plan. Several RERTR tests have recently been completed or are planned for irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, ID. Four mini-plate experiments in various stages of completion are described in detail, including the irradiation test design, objectives, and irradiation conditions. Observations made during and after the in-reactor RERTR-7A experiment breach are summarized. The irradiation experiment design and planned irradiation conditions for full-size plate test are described. Progress toward element testing will be reviewed.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
924492
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-06-11886
TRN: US0802895
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: RERTR 2006 International Meeting on Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors,Cape Town, South Africa,10/26/2006,11/06/2006
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; DESIGN; IRRADIATION; PLATES; RESEARCH AND TEST REACTORS; TEST REACTORS; TESTING; ATR; RERTR

Citation Formats

Daniel M. Wachs, Richard G. Ambrosek, Gray Chang, and Mitchell K. Meyer. Design and Status of RERTR Irradiation Tests in the Advanced Test Reactor. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Daniel M. Wachs, Richard G. Ambrosek, Gray Chang, & Mitchell K. Meyer. Design and Status of RERTR Irradiation Tests in the Advanced Test Reactor. United States.
Daniel M. Wachs, Richard G. Ambrosek, Gray Chang, and Mitchell K. Meyer. 2006. "Design and Status of RERTR Irradiation Tests in the Advanced Test Reactor". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/924492.
@article{osti_924492,
title = {Design and Status of RERTR Irradiation Tests in the Advanced Test Reactor},
author = {Daniel M. Wachs and Richard G. Ambrosek and Gray Chang and Mitchell K. Meyer},
abstractNote = {Irradiation testing of U-Mo based fuels is the central component of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program fuel qualification plan. Several RERTR tests have recently been completed or are planned for irradiation in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls, ID. Four mini-plate experiments in various stages of completion are described in detail, including the irradiation test design, objectives, and irradiation conditions. Observations made during and after the in-reactor RERTR-7A experiment breach are summarized. The irradiation experiment design and planned irradiation conditions for full-size plate test are described. Progress toward element testing will be reviewed.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2006,
month =
}

Conference:
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  • Based on the results of the reactor physics assessment, conversion of the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) can be potentially accomplished in two ways, by either using U-10Mo monolithic or U-7Mo dispersion type plates in the ATR fuel element. Both designs, however, would require incorporation of the burnable absorber in several plates of the fuel element to compensate for the excess reactivity and to flatten the radial power profile. Several different types of burnable absorbers were considered initially, but only borated compounds, such as B4C, ZrB2 and Al-B alloys, were selected for testing primarily duemore » to the length of the ATR fuel cycle and fuel manufacturing constraints. To assess and compare irradiation performance of the U-Mo fuels with different burnable absorbers we have designed and manufactured 28 RERTR miniplates (20 fueled and 8 non-fueled) containing fore-mentioned borated compounds. These miniplates will be tested in the ATR as part of the RERTR-13 experiment, which is described in this paper. Detailed plate design, compositions and irradiations conditions are discussed.« less
  • Analysis of the performance of the ATR with a LEU fuel design shows promise in terms of a core design that will yield the same neutron sources in target locations. A proposed integral cladding burnable absorber design appears to meet power profile requirements that will satisfy power distributions for safety limits. Performance of this fuel design is ongoing; the current work is the initial evaluation of the core performance of this fuel design with increasing burnup. Results show that LEU fuel may have a longer lifetime that HEU fuel however, such limits may be set by mechanical performance of themore » fuel rather that available reactivity. Changes seen in the radial fuel power distribution with burnup in LEU fuel will require further study to ascertain the impact on neutron fluxes in target locations. Source terms for discharged fuel have also been studied. By its very nature, LEU fuel produces much more plutonium than is present in HEU fuel at discharge. However, the effect of the plutonium inventory appears to have little affect on radiotoxicity or decay heat in the fuel.« less
  • The progress of the Reduced Enrichment Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) Program is described. After a brief summary of the results which the RERTR Program, in collaboration with its many international partners, had achieved by the end of 1987, the major events, findings and activities of 1988 are reviewed. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a formal and generic approval of the use of U3Si2-Al dispersion fuel in research and test reactors, with densities up to 4.8 g U/cmT. New significant findings from postirradiation examinations, from ion-beam irradiations, and from analytical modeling, have raised serious doubts about the potential ofmore » LEU U3Si-Al dispersion fuel for applications requiring very high uranium densities and high burnups (>6 g U/cmT, >50% burnup). As a result of these findings, the fuel development efforts have been redirected towards three new initiatives: (1) a systematic application of ion-beam irradiations to screen new materials; (2) application of Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) procedures to produce U3Si2-Al plates with high uranium densities and thin uniform cladding; and (3) application of HIP procedures to produce plates with U3Si wires imbedded in an aluminum matrix, achieving stability, high uranium density, and thin uniform cladding. The new fuel concepts hold the promise of extraordinary performance potential and require approximately five years to develop.« less
  • The status of the US Reduced Enrichment Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) Program is reviewed. After a summary of the accomplishments which the RERTR Program had achieved by the end of 1984 with its many international partners, emphasis is placed on the progress achieved during 1985 and on current plans and schedules. A new miniplate series, concentrating on U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/-Al and U/sub 3/Si-Al fuels, was fabricated and is well into irradiation. The whole-core ORR demonstration is scheduled to begin in November 1985, with U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/-Al fuel at 4.8 g U/cm/sup 3/. Altogether, 921 full-size test and prototype elementsmore » have been ordered for fabrication with reduced enrichment and the new technologies. Qualification of U/sub 3/Si-Al fuel with approx.7 g U/cm/sup 3/ is still projected for 1989. This progress could not have been achieved without the close international cooperation which has existed since the beginning, and whose continuation and intensification will be essential to the achievement of the long-term RERTR goals.« less
  • The United States Department of Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating eight particle fuel tests in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the newly formed Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to support development of the next generation Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) in the United States. The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the new United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. These AGR fuel experiments will be irradiated over the next ten years tomore » demonstrate and qualify new particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The experiments will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with on-line temperature monitoring and control combined with on-line fission product monitoring of the sweep gas. The final design phase has just been completed on the first experiment (AGR-1) in this series and the support systems and fission product monitoring system that will monitor and control the experiment during irradiation. This paper discusses the development of the experimental hardware and support system designs and the status of the experiment.« less