Title: An Assessment of the Fuel Pulverization Threshold During LOCA-Type Temperature Transients
Citation: NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING vol. 179 no. 4 p. 477-485
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC90645
ISSN: 0029-5639
URI: http://www.ans.org/pubs/journals/nse/a_36931
DOI: 10.13182/NSE14-20
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: To investigate the potential disintegration to powder of high burn-up fuel pellets during a rapid temperature transient the Nuclear Fuels Industry Research Program (NFIR) commissioned two independent scoping studies. The first investigated the effect of hydrostatic restraint pressure on fission gas release during a series of fast temperature ramps. In the second study laser heating was used to investigate the temperature at which small samples of fuel fragmented. From the observations made in these studies local burn-up and temperature thresholds of 71 MWd/kgHM and 645°C were identified for fuel pulverization during a loss of coolant accident (LOCA). It is shown that fine fragment production in integral LOCA tests performed in other independent investigations at Studsvik and Halden was generally well predicted using these thresholds of burn-up and temperature. The NFIR investigations also reveal that the degree of pulverization and resulting fragment size is dependent on the temperature ramp rate. Moreover, they confirm that pulverization can be substantially reduced by the imposition of a hydrostatic pressure.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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