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Title: AGR-1 Post Irradiation Examination Final Report

The post-irradiation examination (PIE) of the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR)-1 experiment was a multi-year, collaborative effort between Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to study the performance of UCO (uranium carbide, uranium oxide) tristructural isotropic (TRISO) coated particle fuel fabricated in the U.S. and irradiated at the Advanced Test Reactor at INL to a peak burnup of 19.6% fissions per initial metal atom. This work involved a broad array of experiments and analyses to evaluate the level of fission product retention by the fuel particles and compacts (both during irradiation and during post-irradiation heating tests to simulate reactor accident conditions), investigate the kernel and coating layer morphology evolution and the causes of coating failure, and explore the migration of fission products through the coating layers. The results have generally confirmed the excellent performance of the AGR-1 fuel, first indicated during the irradiation by the observation of zero TRISO coated particle failures out of 298,000 particles in the experiment. Overall release of fission products was determined by PIE to have been relatively low during the irradiation. A significant finding was the extremely low levels of cesium released through intact coatings. This was true both during the irradiationmore » and during post-irradiation heating tests to temperatures as high as 1800°C. Post-irradiation safety test fuel performance was generally excellent. Silver release from the particles and compacts during irradiation was often very high. Extensive microanalysis of fuel particles was performed after irradiation and after high-temperature safety testing. The results of particle microanalysis indicate that the UCO fuel is effective at controlling the oxygen partial pressure within the particle and limiting kernel migration. Post-irradiation examination has provided the final body of data that speaks to the quality of the AGR-1 fuel, building on the as-fabricated fuel characterization and irradiation data. In addition to the extensive volume of results generated, the work also resulted in a number of novel analysis techniques and lessons learned that are being applied to the examination of fuel from subsequent TRISO fuel irradiations. This report provides a summary of the results obtained as part of the AGR-1 PIE campaign over its approximately 5-year duration.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1236801
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT--15-36407
TRN: US1600270
DOE Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; AGR TYPE REACTORS; CESIUM; SILVER; IRRADIATION; FISSION PRODUCTS; POST-IRRADIATION EXAMINATION; COATED FUEL PARTICLES; PARTIAL PRESSURE; URANIUM CARBIDES; URANIUM OXIDES; TEMPERATURE RANGE 1000-4000 K; OXYGEN; PERFORMANCE; FAILURES; FISSION; HEATING; LAYERS; MICROANALYSIS; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; SAFETY; FISSION PRODUCT RELEASE; COATINGS; TIME DEPENDENCE; MORPHOLOGY; TESTING AGR; ART; HFEF; MFC; PIE