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AGR-1 Irradiation Experiment Test Plan

Description: This document presents the current state of planning for the AGR-1 irradiation experiment, the first of eight planned irradiations for the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program. The objectives of the AGR-1 experiment are: 1. To gain experience with multi-capsule test train design, fabrication, and operation with the intent to reduce the probability of capsule or test train failure in subsequent irradiation tests. 2. To irradiate fuel produced in conjunction with the AGR fuel process development effort. 3. To provide data that will support the development of an understanding of the relationship between fuel fabrication processes, fuel product properties, and irradiation performance. In order to achieve the test objectives, the AGR-1 experiment will be irradiated in the B-10 position of the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The test will contain six independently controlled and monitored capsules. Each capsule will contain a single type, or variant, of the AGR coated fuel. The irradiation is planned for about 700 effective full power days (approximately 2.4 calendar years) with a time-averaged, volume-average temperature of approximately 1050 °C. Average fuel burnup, for the entire test, will be greater than 17.7 % FIMA, and the fuel will experience fast neutron fluences between 2.4 and 4.5 x 1025 n/m2 (E>0.18 MeV).
Date: October 1, 2009
Creator: Maki, John T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sensitivity Evaluation of the Daily Thermal Predictions of the AGR-1 Experiment in the Advanced Test Reactor

Description: A temperature sensitivity evaluation has been performed for the AGR-1 fuel experiment on an individual capsule. A series of cases were compared to a base case by varying different input parameters into the ABAQUS finite element thermal model. These input parameters were varied by ±10% to show the temperature sensitivity to each parameter. The most sensitive parameters are the outer control gap distance, heat rate in the fuel compacts, and neon gas fraction. Thermal conductivity of the compacts and graphite holder were in the middle of the list for sensitivity. The smallest effects were for the emissivities of the stainless steel, graphite, and thru tubes. Sensitivity calculations were also performed varying with fluence. These calculations showed a general temperature rise with an increase in fluence. This is a result of the thermal conductivity of the fuel compacts and graphite holder decreasing with fluence.
Date: May 1, 2011
Creator: Hawkes, Grant; Sterbentz, James & Maki, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Daily Thermal Predictions of the AGR-1 Experiment with Gas Gaps Varying with Time

Description: A new daily as-run thermal analysis was performed at the Idaho National Laboratory on the Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) test experiment number one at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). This thermal analysis incorporates gas gaps changing with time during the irradiation experiment. The purpose of this analysis was to calculate the daily average temperatures of each compact to compare with experimental results. Post irradiation examination (PIE) measurements of the graphite holder and fuel compacts showed the gas gaps varying from the beginning of life. The control temperature gas gap and the fuel compact – graphite holder gas gaps were linearly changed from the original fabrication dimensions, to the end of irradiation measurements. A steady-state thermal analysis was performed for each daily calculation. These new thermal predictions more closely match the experimental data taken during the experiment than previous analyses. Results are presented comparing normalized compact average temperatures to normalized log(R/B) Kr-85m. The R/B term is the measured release rate divided by the predicted birth rate for the isotope Kr-85m. Correlations between these two normalized values are presented.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Hawkes, Grant; Sterbentz, James; Maki, John & Pham, Binh
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of an Integrated Performance Model for TRISO-Coated Gas Reactor Particle Fuel

Description: The success of gas reactors depends upon the safety and quality of the coated particle fuel. The understanding and evaluation of this fuel requires development of an integrated mechanistic fuel performance model that fully describes the mechanical and physico-chemical behavior of the fuel particle under irradiation. Such a model, called PARFUME (PARticle Fuel ModEl), is being developed at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. PARFUME is based on multi-dimensional finite element modeling of TRISO-coated gas reactor fuel. The goal is to represent all potential failure mechanisms and to incorporate the statistical nature of the fuel. The model is currently focused on carbide, oxide nd oxycarbide uranium fuel kernels, while the coating layers are the classical IPyC/SiC/OPyC. This paper reviews the current status of the mechanical aspects of the model and presents results of calculations for irradiations from the New Production Modular High Temperature Gas Reactor program.
Date: May 1, 2005
Creator: Petti, David Andrew; Miller, Gregory Kent; Martin, David George & Maki, John Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Key differences in the fabrication, irradiation and high temperature accident testing of US and German TRISO-coated particle fuel, and their implications on fuel performance

Description: Historically, the irradiation performance of TRISO-coated gas reactor particle fuel in Germany has been superior to that in the US. German fuel generally has displayed gas release values during irradiation three orders of magnitude lower than US fuel. Thus, we have critically examined the TRISO-coated fuel fabrication processes in the US and Germany and the associated irradiation database with a goal of understanding why the German fuel behaves acceptably, why the US fuel has not faired as well, and what process/production parameters impart the reliable performance to this fuel form. The postirradiation examination results are also reviewed to identify failure mechanisms that may be the cause of the poorer US irradiation performance. This comparison will help determine the roles that particle fuel process/product attributes and irradiation conditions (burnup, fast neutron fluence, temperature, degree of acceleration) have on the behavior of the fuel during irradiation and provide a more quantitative linkage between acceptable processing parameters, as-fabricated fuel properties and subsequent in-reactor performance.
Date: June 1, 2003
Creator: Petti, David Andrew; Buongiorno, Jacopo; Maki, John Thomas & Hobbins, Richard Redfield
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of Improved Models and Designs for Coated-Particle Gas Reactor Fuels (I-NERI Annual Report)

Description: The objective of this INERI project is to develop improved fuel behavior models for gas reactor coated particle fuels and to develop improved coated-particle fuel designs that can be used reliably at very high burnups and potentially in fast gas-cooled reactors. Thermomechanical, thermophysical, and physiochemical material properties data were compiled by both the US and the French and preliminary assessments conducted. Comparison between U.S. and European data revealed many similarities and a few important differences. In all cases, the data needed for accurate fuel performance modeling of coated particle fuel at high burnup were lacking. The development of the INEEL fuel performance model, PARFUME, continued from earlier efforts. The statistical model being used to simulate the detailed finite element calculations is being upgraded and improved to allow for changes in fuel design attributes (e.g. thickness of layers, dimensions of kernel) as well as changes in important material properties to increase the flexibility of the code. In addition, modeling of other potentially important failure modes such as debonding and asphericity was started. A paper on the status of the model was presented at the HTR-2002 meeting in Petten, Netherlands in April 2002, and a paper on the statistical method was submitted to the Journal of Nuclear Material in September 2002. Benchmarking of the model against Japanese and an older DRAGON irradiation are planned. Preliminary calculations of the stresses in a coated particle have been calculated by the CEA using the ATLAS finite element model. This model and the material properties and constitutive relationships will be incorporated into a more general software platform termed Pleiades. Pleiades will be able to analyze different fuel forms at different scales (from particle to fuel body) and also handle the statistical variability in coated particle fuel. Diffusion couple experiments to study Ag and Pd transport through ...
Date: November 1, 2002
Creator: Petti, David Andrew; Maki, John Thomas; Languille, Alain; Martin, Philippe & Ballinger, Ronald
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Challenges Associated with High Burnup and High Temperature for UO2 TRISO-Coated Particle Fuel

Description: The fuel service conditions for the DOE Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) will be challenging. All major fuel related design parameters (burnup, temperature, fast neutron fluence, power density, particle packing fraction) exceed the values that were qualified in the successful German UO2 TRISO-coated particle fuel development program in the 1980s. While TRISO-coated particle fuel has been irradiated at NGNP relevant levels for two or three of the design parameters, no data exist for TRISO-coated particle fuel for all five parameters simultaneously. Of particular concern are the high burnup and high temperatures expected in the NGNP. In this paper, where possible, we evaluate the challenges associated with high burnup and high temperature quantitatively by examining the performance of the fuel in terms of different known failure mechanisms. Potential design solutions to ameliorate the negative effects of high burnup and high temperature are also discussed.
Date: February 1, 2005
Creator: Petti, David & Maki, John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Completion of the first NGNP Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Irradiation Experiment, AGR-1, in the Advanced Test Reactor

Description: The United States Department of Energy’s Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating up to seven separate low enriched uranium (LEU) tri-isotopic (TRISO) particle fuel (in compact form) experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. The ATR is one of the world’s premiere test reactors for performing long term, high flux, and/or large volume irradiation test programs. These irradiations and fuel development are being accomplished to support development of the next generation reactors in the United States, and will be irradiated over the next several years to demonstrate and qualify new TRISO coated particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The goals of the irradiation experiments are to provide irradiation performance data to support fuel process development, to qualify fuel for normal operating conditions, to support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes, and to provide irradiated fuel and materials for post irradiation examination (PIE) and safety testing. The experiments, which will each consist of at least six separate capsules, will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with individual on-line temperature monitoring and control of each capsule. The sweep gas will also have on-line fission product monitoring on its effluent to track performance of the fuel in each individual capsule during irradiation. The first experiment (designated AGR-1) started irradiation in December 2006 and completed a very successful irradiation in early November 2009. The design of AGR-1 test train and support systems used to monitor and control the experiment during irradiation ...
Date: October 1, 2010
Creator: Grover, Blaine; Maki, John & Petti, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improving the AGR Fuel Testing Power Density Profile Versus Irradiation-Time in the Advanced Test Reactor

Description: The Very High Temperature gas-cooled Reactor (VHTR), which is currently being developed, achieves simplification of safety through reliance on ceramic-coated fuel particles. Each TRISO-coated fuel particle has its own containment which serves as the principal barrier against radionuclide release under normal operating and accident conditions. These fuel particles, in the form of graphite fuel compacts, are currently undergoing a series of irradiation tests in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to support the Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor (AGR) fuel qualification program. A representive coated fuel particle with an 235U enrichment of 19.8 wt% was used in this analysis. The fuel burnup analysis tool used to perform the neutronics study reported herein, couples the Monte Carlo transport code MCNP, with the radioactive decay and burnup code ORIGEN2. The fuel burnup methodology known as Monte-Carlo with ORIGEN2 (MCWO) was used to evaluate the AGR experiment assembly and demonstrate compliance with ATR safety requirements. For the AGR graphite fuel compacts, the MCWO-calculated fission power density (FPD) due to neutron fission in 235U is an important design parameter. One of the more important AGR fuel testing requirements is to maintain the peak fuel compact temperature close to 1250°C throughout the proposed irradiation campaign of 550 effective full power days (EFPDs). Based on the MCWO-calculated FPD, a fixed gas gap size was designed to allow regulation of the fuel compact temperatures throughout the entire fuel irradiation campaign by filling the gap with a mixture of helium and neon gases. The chosen fixed gas gap can only regulate the peak fuel compact temperature in the desired range during the irradiation test if the ratio of the peak power density to the time-dependent low power density (P/T) at 550 EFPDs is less than 2.5. However, given the near constant neutron flux within the ...
Date: May 1, 2009
Creator: Chang, Gray S.; Petti, David A.; Maki, John T. & Lillo, Misti A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Key Differences in the Fabrication, Irradiation, and Safety Testing of U.S. and German TRISO-coated Particle Fuel and Their Implications on Fuel Performance

Description: High temperature gas reactor technology is achieving a renaissance around the world. This technology relies on high quality production and performance of coated particle fuel. Historically, the irradiation performance of TRISO-coated gas reactor particle fuel in Germany has been superior to that in the United States. German fuel generally displayed in-pile gas release values that were three orders of magnitude lower than U.S. fuel. Thus, we have critically examined the TRISO-coated fuel fabrication processes in the U.S. and Germany and the associated irradiation database with a goal of understanding why the German fuel behaves acceptably, why the U.S. fuel has not faired as well, and what process/ production parameters impart the reliable performance to this fuel form. The postirradiation examination results are also reviewed to identify failure mechanisms that may be the cause of the poorer U.S. irradiation performance. This comparison will help determine the roles that particle fuel process/product attributes and irradiation conditions (burnup, fast neutron fluence, temperature, and degree of acceleration) have on the behavior of the fuel during irradiation and provide a more quantitative linkage between acceptable processing parameters, as-fabricated fuel properties and subsequent in-reactor performance.
Date: June 1, 2002
Creator: Petti, David Andrew; Maki, John Thomas; Buongiorno, Jacopo & Hobbins, Richard Redfield
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NP-MHTGR Fuel Development Program Results

Description: In August 1988, the Secretary of Energy announced a strategy to acquire New Production Reactor capacity for producing tritium. The strategy involved construction of a New Production Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (NP-MHTGR) where the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) was selected as the Management and Operations contractor for the project. Immediately after the announcement in August 1988, tritium target particle development began with the INEEL selected as the lead laboratory. Fuel particle development was initially not considered to be on a critical path for the project, therefore, the fuel development program was to run concurrently with the design effort of the NP-MHTGR.
Date: October 1, 2002
Creator: Maki, John Thomas; Petti, David Andrew; Hobbins, Richard Redfield; McCardell, Richard K.; Shaber, Eric Lee & Southworth, Finis Hio
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department