skip to main content

Title: An analysis of nuclear fuel burnup in the AGR-1 TRISO fuel experiment using gamma spectrometry, mass spectrometry, and computational simulation techniques

AGR 1 was the first in a series of experiments designed to test US TRISO fuel under high temperature gas-cooled reactor irradiation conditions. This experiment was irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and is currently undergoing post irradiation examination (PIE) at INL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. One component of the AGR 1 PIE is the experimental evaluation of the burnup of the fuel by two separate techniques. Gamma spectrometry was used to non destructively evaluate the burnup of all 72 of the TRISO fuel compacts that comprised the AGR 1 experiment. Two methods for evaluating burnup by gamma spectrometry were developed, one based on the Cs 137 activity and the other based on the ratio of Cs 134 and Cs 137 activities. Burnup values determined from both methods compared well with the values predicted from simulations. The highest measured burnup was 20.1% FIMA for the direct method and 20.0% FIMA for the ratio method (compared to 19.56% FIMA from simulations). An advantage of the ratio method is that the burnup of the cylindrical fuel compacts can determined in small (2.5 mm) axial increments and an axial burnup profile can be produced. Destructive chemicalmore » analysis by inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP MS) was then performed on selected compacts that were representative of the expected range of fuel burnups in the experiment to compare with the burnup values determined by gamma spectrometry. The compacts analyzed by mass spectrometry had a burnup range of 19.3% FIMA to 10.7% FIMA. The mass spectrometry evaluation of burnup for the four compacts agreed well with the gamma spectrometry burnup evaluations and the expected burnup from simulation. For all four compacts analyzed by mass spectrometry, the maximum range in the three experimentally determined values and the predicted value was 6% or less. Furthermore, the results confirm the accuracy of the nondestructive burnup evaluation from gamma spectrometry for TRISO fuel compacts across a burnup range of approximately 10 to 20% FIMA and also validate the approach used in the physics simulation of the AGR 1 experiment.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493; PII: S0029549314004555
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 278; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5493
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; BURNUP; GAMMA SPECTROSCOPY; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; AGR-1; burnup; experiment computation comparison; gamma spectrometry; mass spectrometry; TRISO