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Title: Experimental Study and Computational Simulations of Key Pebble Bed Thermo-mechanics Issues for Design and Safety

An experimental and computational study, consisting of modeling and simulation (M&S), of key thermal-mechanical issues affecting the design and safety of pebble-bed (PB) reactors was conducted. The objective was to broaden understanding and experimentally validate thermal-mechanic phenomena of nuclear grade graphite, specifically, spheres in frictional contact as anticipated in the bed under reactor relevant pressures and temperatures. The contact generates graphite dust particulates that can subsequently be transported into the flowing gaseous coolent. Under postulated depressurization transients and with the potential for leaked fission products to be adsorbed onto graphite 'dust', there is the potential for fission products to escape from the primary volume. This is a design safety concern. Furthermore, earlier safety assessment identified the distinct possibility for the dispersed dust to combust in contact with air if sufficient conditions are met. Both of these phenomena were noted as important to design review and containing uncertainty to warrant study. The team designed and conducted two separate effects tests to study and benchmark the potential dust-generation rate, as well as study the conditions under which a dust explosion may occure in a standardized, instrumented explosion chamber.
Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1157564
Report Number(s):
09-810
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS