Tensile Hoop Behavior of Irradiated Zircaloy-4 Nuclear Fuel Cladding

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A method for evaluating the room temperature ductility behavior of irradiated Zircaloy-4 nuclear fuel cladding has been developed and applied to evaluate tensile hoop strength of material irradiated to different levels. The test utilizes a polyurethane plug fitted within a tubular cladding specimen. A cylindrical punch is used to compress the plug axially, which generates a radial displacement that acts upon the inner diameter of the specimen. Position sensors track the radial displacement of the specimen outer diameter as the compression proceeds. These measurements coupled with ram force data provide a load-displacement characterization of the cladding response to internal pressurization. ... continued below

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Jaramillo, Roger A; Hendrich, WILLIAM R & Packan, Nicolas H March 1, 2007.

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A method for evaluating the room temperature ductility behavior of irradiated Zircaloy-4 nuclear fuel cladding has been developed and applied to evaluate tensile hoop strength of material irradiated to different levels. The test utilizes a polyurethane plug fitted within a tubular cladding specimen. A cylindrical punch is used to compress the plug axially, which generates a radial displacement that acts upon the inner diameter of the specimen. Position sensors track the radial displacement of the specimen outer diameter as the compression proceeds. These measurements coupled with ram force data provide a load-displacement characterization of the cladding response to internal pressurization. The development of this simple, cost-effective, highly reproducible test for evaluating tensile hoop strain as a function of internal pressure for irradiated specimens represents a significant advance in the mechanical characterization of irradiated cladding. In this project, nuclear fuel rod assemblies using Zircaloy-4 cladding and two types of mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel pellets were irradiated to varying levels of burnup. Fuel pellets were manufactured with and without thermally induced gallium removal (TIGR) processing. Fuel pellets manufactured by both methods were contained in fuel rod assemblies and irradiated to burnup levels of 9, 21, 30, 40, and 50 GWd/MT. These levels of fuel burnup correspond to fast (E > 1 MeV) fluences of 0.27, 0.68, 0.98, 1.4 and 1.7 1021 neutrons/cm2, respectively. Following irradiation, fuel rod assemblies were disassembled; fuel pellets were removed from the cladding; and the inner diameter of cladding was cleaned to remove residue materials. Tensile hoop strength of this cladding material was tested using the newly developed method. Unirradiated Zircaloy-4 cladding was also tested. With the goal of determining the effect of the two fuel types and different neutron fluences on clad ductility, tensile hoop strength tests were performed on cladding for these varying conditions. Experimental data revealed negligible performance differences for cladding containing TIGR vs non-TIGR processed fuel pellets. Irradiation hardening was observed in tensile hoop data as the strength of the cladding increased with increasing neutron dose and appeared to saturate for a fast fluence of 1.7 1021 neutrons/cm2.

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  • Report No.: ORNL/TM-2007/012
  • Grant Number: DE-AC05-00OR22725
  • DOI: 10.2172/931509 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 931509
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895944

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  • March 1, 2007

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 7:40 p.m.

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Jaramillo, Roger A; Hendrich, WILLIAM R & Packan, Nicolas H. Tensile Hoop Behavior of Irradiated Zircaloy-4 Nuclear Fuel Cladding, report, March 1, 2007; [Tennessee]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895944/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.