Behavior of unirradiated Zr based uranium metal fuel under reactivity initiated accident conditions
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- Behavior of unirradiated Zr based uranium metal fuel under reactivity initiated accident conditions
- Koo, Yang-Hyun; Lee, Chong-Tak; Oh, Je-Yong; Sohn, Dong-Seong; Baryshnikov, M.; Chechurov, A.; Margulis, B.
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER SCIENCE SA
- NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN, v.238, no.7, pp.1592 - 1600
- Reactivity initiated accident (RIA) tests with 4 unirradiated Zr based uranium metal fuel rods were performed to establish a criterion which should be observed under RIA conditions. Of the four tests, fuel failures were observed in the two tests that experienced the maximum energy depositions of 188 and 212 cal/g, respectively. However, the fuel failures were not observed at the place of a maximum energy deposition but at the position where the thermocouples were installed; one failed at the position whose local energy deposition was 150 cal/g, and the other one at the place with energy deposition of 170 cal/g. The fuel failures seem to have occurred because excessive pressure, which was caused by the partial melting of the fuel meat, was applied to the cladding with a reduced thickness. However, other parts of the fuel rods including the place of a maximum energy deposition maintained their integrity and a big change in the temperature and pressure in the internal capsule, which would be an indication of the fragmentation and dispersion of the fuel meat into the internal capsule, was not observed. Visual inspection also showed that, except for the thermocouple positions, there was no trace of clad failure such as the formation of brittle cracks in the cladding or melting of the cladding. Therefore, for the Zr based uranium metal fuel rods, it can be concluded that the threshold energy deposition above which fragmentation and dispersion of fuel meat into the primary coolant system is expected to occur could be higher than 212 cal/g.
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