End-of-life destructive examination of light water breeder reactor fuel rods (LWBR Development Program)
Description: Destructive examination of 12 representative Light Water Breeder Reactor fuel rods was performed following successful operation in the Shippingport Atomic Power Station for 29,047 effective full power hours, about five years. Light Water Breeder Reactor fuel rods were unique in that the thorium oxide and uranium-233 oxide fuel was contained within Zircaloy-4 cladding. Destructive examinations included analysis of released fission gas; chemical analysis of the fuel to determine depletion, iodine, and cesium levels; chemical analysis of the cladding to determine hydrogen, iodine, and cesium levels; metallographic examination of the cladding, fuel, and other rod components to determine microstructural features and cladding corrosion features; and tensile testing of the irradiated cladding to determine mechanical strength. The examinations confirmed that Light Water Breeder Reactor fuel rod performance was excellent. No evidence of fuel rod failure was observed, and the fuel operating temperature was low (below 2580/sup 0/F at which an increased percentage of fission gas is released). 21 refs., 80 figs., 20 tabs.
Date: October 1, 1987
Creator: Richardson, K.D.
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