Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of Coated Particle Fuel Experiencing a Fast Control Rod Ejection Transient

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A rapid increase of the temperature and the mechanical stress is expected in TRISO coated particle fuel that experiences a fast Total Control Rod Ejection (CRE) transient event. During this event the reactor power in the pebble bed core increases significantly for a short time interval. The power is deposited instantly and locally in the fuel kernel. This could result in a rapid increase of the pressure in the buffer layer of the coated fuel particle and, consequently, in an increase of the coating stresses. These stresses determine the mechanical failure probability of the coatings, which serve as the containment ... continued below

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Ortensi, J.; Boer, Brian & Ougouag, Abderrafi M. October 1, 2010.

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A rapid increase of the temperature and the mechanical stress is expected in TRISO coated particle fuel that experiences a fast Total Control Rod Ejection (CRE) transient event. During this event the reactor power in the pebble bed core increases significantly for a short time interval. The power is deposited instantly and locally in the fuel kernel. This could result in a rapid increase of the pressure in the buffer layer of the coated fuel particle and, consequently, in an increase of the coating stresses. These stresses determine the mechanical failure probability of the coatings, which serve as the containment of radioactive fission products in the Pebble Bed Reactor (PBR). A new calculation procedure has been implemented at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which analyzes the transient fuel performance behavior of TRISO fuel particles in PBRs. This early capability can easily be extended to prismatic designs, given the availability of neutronic and thermal-fluid solvers. The full-core coupled neutronic and thermal-fluid analysis has been modeled with CYNOD-THERMIX. The temperature fields for the fuel kernel and the particle coatings, as well as the gas pressures in the buffer layer, are calculated with the THETRIS module explicitly during the transient calculation. Results from this module are part of the feedback loop within the neutronic-thermal fluid iterations performed for each time step. The temperature and internal pressure values for each pebble type in each region of the core are then input to the PArticle STress Analysis (PASTA) code, which determines the particle coating stresses and the fraction of failed particles. This paper presents an investigation of a Total Control Rod Ejection (TCRE) incident in the 400 MWth Pebble Bed Modular reactor design using the above described calculation procedure. The transient corresponds to a reactivity insertion of $3 (~2000 pcm) reaching 35 times the nominal power in 0.5 seconds. For each position in the core the coated particle temperature and the stress history during a TCRE transient has been computed and the fuel failure probability has been quantified.

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  • 5th International Conference on High Temperature Reactor Technology HTR 2010,Prague, Czech Republic,10/18/2010,10/20/2010

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-10-18014
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 989872
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014138

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  • October 1, 2010

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2017, 5:25 p.m.

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Ortensi, J.; Boer, Brian & Ougouag, Abderrafi M. Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of Coated Particle Fuel Experiencing a Fast Control Rod Ejection Transient, article, October 1, 2010; Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014138/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.