Interactions of Zircaloy cladding with gallium: 1998 midyear status

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Description

A program has been implemented to evaluate the effect of gallium in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel derived from weapons-grade (WG) plutonium on Zircaloy cladding performance. The objective is to demonstrate that low levels of gallium will not compromise the performance of the MOX fuel system in a light-water reactor. The graded, four-phase experimental program was designed to evaluate the performance of prototypic Zircaloy cladding materials against (1) liquid gallium (Phase 1), (2) various concentrations of Ga{sub 2}O{sub 3} (Phase 2), (3) centrally heated surrogate fuel pellets with expected levels of gallium (Phase 3), and (4) centrally heated prototypic MOX fuel pellets ... continued below

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43 p.

Creation Information

Wilson, D.F.; DiStefano, J.R.; Strizak, J.P.; King, J.F. & Manneschmidt, E.T. June 1, 1998.

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Description

A program has been implemented to evaluate the effect of gallium in mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel derived from weapons-grade (WG) plutonium on Zircaloy cladding performance. The objective is to demonstrate that low levels of gallium will not compromise the performance of the MOX fuel system in a light-water reactor. The graded, four-phase experimental program was designed to evaluate the performance of prototypic Zircaloy cladding materials against (1) liquid gallium (Phase 1), (2) various concentrations of Ga{sub 2}O{sub 3} (Phase 2), (3) centrally heated surrogate fuel pellets with expected levels of gallium (Phase 3), and (4) centrally heated prototypic MOX fuel pellets (Phase 4). This status report describes the results of a series of tests for Phases 1 and 2. Three types of tests are being performed: (1) corrosion, (2) liquid metal embrittlement, and (3) corrosion-mechanical. These tests will determine corrosion mechanisms, thresholds for temperature and concentration of gallium that may delineate behavioral regimes, and changes in the mechanical properties of Zircaloy. Initial results have generally been favorable for the use of WG-MOX fuel. The MOX fuel cladding, Zircaloy, does react with gallium to form intermetallic compounds at {ge}300 C; however, this reaction is limited by the mass of gallium and is therefore not expected to be significant with a low level (parts per million) of gallium in the MOX fuel. Although continued migration of gallium into the initially formed intermetallic compound can result in large stresses that may lead to distortion, this was shown to be extremely unlikely because of the low mass of gallium or gallium oxide present and expected clad temperatures below 400 C. Furthermore, no evidence for grain boundary penetration by gallium has been observed.

Physical Description

43 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE98058149

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  • Other Information: PBD: Jun 1998

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  • Other: DE98058149
  • Report No.: ORNL/TM--13625
  • Grant Number: AC05-96OR22464
  • DOI: 10.2172/663271 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 663271
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc704456

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  • June 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 6:59 p.m.

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Wilson, D.F.; DiStefano, J.R.; Strizak, J.P.; King, J.F. & Manneschmidt, E.T. Interactions of Zircaloy cladding with gallium: 1998 midyear status, report, June 1, 1998; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc704456/: accessed July 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.