A Uranium Dioxide Fuel Rod Center Melting Test in the Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor

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Description

Technical report describing that as part of the AEC Fuel Cycle Program, tests are being conducted to evaluate the significance of current fuel design limitations that do not permit the maximum fuel temperature to exceed the melting point of UO2. The reliability of prediction of the fuel rod operating conditions that will cause melting of the UO2 was evaluated by means of a calibration test conducted in the Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor. Conclusions: (a) The central portion of the 3.15-cm diameter uranium dioxide fuel column melted. It appears that the UO2 was molten to a radius of 1.22 cm in … continued below

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56 pages ; illustrations.

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Williamson, H. E. & Hoffmann, J. P. November 15, 1963.

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Description

Technical report describing that as part of the AEC Fuel Cycle Program, tests are being conducted to evaluate the significance of current fuel design limitations that do not permit the maximum fuel temperature to exceed the melting point of UO2. The reliability of prediction of the fuel rod operating conditions that will cause melting of the UO2 was evaluated by means of a calibration test conducted in the Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor. Conclusions: (a) The central portion of the 3.15-cm diameter uranium dioxide fuel column melted. It appears that the UO2 was molten to a radius of 1.22 cm in the peak power region. The maximum extent of melting probably occurred during the peak power run when the kdT in this region of the rod reached 171 watts cm. The estimated radius of melting from metallographic examination indicates the kdT for sintered UO2 is 89 watts/cm. This supports a calculated estimate for sintered UO2 thermal conductivity published by D. R. deHalas and G. R. Horn. The results of the previous calibration run and subsequent experimental data by Lyons are also consistent with the value. This conclusion is contingent on the interpretation of the post-irradiation crystal structure of the UO2. Insufficient data are available on the mechanisms by which various UO2 crystal structures are formed to permit a positive identification of the extent of melting and correlation with time of operation. No conclusion can be drawn as to whether the thermal conductivity of the UO2 changed with operation. (b) Although extensive UO2 melting occurred, there was no indication of fuel rod clad failure. (c) Axial heat transfer by convection in the molten UO2 was significant.

Physical Description

56 pages ; illustrations.

Notes

Digitized from microopaque cards.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Contract AT(04-3)-189 Project Agreement 11.

Includes bibliographic references (page 2).

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  • Report No.: GEAP-4408
  • Grant Number: AT(04-3)-189 PA 11
  • SuDoc Number: Y 3.At 7:22/GEAP-4408
  • Accession or Local Control No: metadc1201399
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1201399

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Technical Report Archive and Image Library

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Imaged from microcard, these technical reports describe research performed for U.S. government agencies from the 1930s to the 1960s. The reports were provided by the Technical Report Archive and Image Library (TRAIL).

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Creation Date

  • November 15, 1963

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 15, 2019, 10:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • June 11, 2020, 2:10 p.m.

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Williamson, H. E. & Hoffmann, J. P. A Uranium Dioxide Fuel Rod Center Melting Test in the Vallecitos Boiling Water Reactor, report, November 15, 1963; San Jose, California.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1201399/: accessed February 26, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.

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