Title: An effective numerical algorithm for intra-granular fission gas release during non-equilibrium trapping and resolution
Citation: JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS vol. 509 p. 687-699
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC111292
ISSN: 0022-3115
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC111292
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.07.030
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Fission gas release and gaseous swelling in nuclear fuel are driven by the transport of fission gas from within the fuel grains to grain boundaries (intra-granular fission gas release). The process involves gas atom diffusion in conjunction with trapping in and resolution from intra-granular bubbles, and is described mathematically by a system of two partial differential equations (PDE). Under the assumption of equilibrium between trapping and resolution (quasi-stationary approximation) the system can be reduced to a single diffusion equation with an effective diffusion coefficient. Numerical solutions used in engineering fuel performance calculations invariably rely on this simplification. First, we investigate the validity of the quasi-stationary approximation compared to the solution of the general system of PDEs. Results demonstrate that the approximation is valid under most conditions of practical interest, but is inadequate to describe intra-granular fission gas release during rapid transients to relatively high temperatures such as postulated reactivity-initiated accidents (RIA). Then, we develop a novel numerical algorithm for the solution of the general PDE system in time-varying conditions. We verify the PolyPole-2 algorithm against a reference finite difference solution for a large number of randomly generated operation histories including prototypical RIA transients. Results demonstrate that PolyPole-2 captures the solution of the general system with a high accuracy and a low computational cost. The PolyPole-2 algorithm overcomes the quasi-stationary approximation and the concept of an effective diffusion coefficient for the solution of the intra-granular fission gas release problem in nuclear fuel analysis.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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