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Preparing Oregon State University to Meet the Research Challenges of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Final Scientific/Technical Report

Description: The OSU Radiation Center requested $100,000 under the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership University Readiness program to provide for graduate student support, reactor equipment upgrades, and irradiation support. A portion of the funds requested were used to support the graduate education of a graduate student for a period of one year. The remaining funds were utilized to enhance the irradiation facilities of the Oregon State TRIGA® Reactor as well as to offset the costs of irradiations for initial investigations where grant funding is not available. The focus of this effort was to create an environment that would enhance facilities and equipment at Oregon State University which emphasize GNEP related themes, specifically material science analytical capabilities for the next generation of nuclear reactors. These enhancements included development of a prompt gamma neutron activation analysis analytical capability, digital reactor data logging, electronic dosimetry for researchers, replacement of sample grapples, and irradiation/analytical services.
Date: October 8, 2008
Creator: Reese, Steven R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Application of Entry-Time Processes in Asset Management for Nuclear Power Plants (Final Report)

Description: A mathematical model of entry-time processes was developed, and a computational method for solving that model was verified. This methodology was demonstrated via application to a succession of increasingly more complex subsystems of nuclear power plants. The effort culminated in the application to main generators that constituted the PhD dissertation of Shuwen (“Eric”) Wang. Dr. Wang is now employed by ABS Consulting, in Anaheim, CA. ABS is a principal provider to the nuclear industry of technical services related to reliability and safety.
Date: January 23, 2008
Creator: Nelson, Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: This project is investigating countercurrent flow and “flooding” phenomena in light water reactor systems to improve reactor safety of current and future reactors. To better understand the occurrence of flooding in the surge line geometry of a PWR, two experimental programs were performed. In the first, a test facility with an acrylic test section provided visual data on flooding for air-water systems in large diameter tubes. This test section also allowed for development of techniques to form an annular liquid film along the inner surface of the “surge line” and other techniques which would be difficult to verify in an opaque test section. Based on experiences in the air-water testing and the improved understanding of flooding phenomena, two series of tests were conducted in a large-diameter, stainless steel test section. Air-water test results and steam-water test results were directly compared to note the effect of condensation. Results indicate that, as for smaller diameter tubes, the flooding phenomena is predominantly driven by the hydrodynamics. Tests with the test sections inclined were attempted but the annular film was easily disrupted. A theoretical model for steam venting from inclined tubes is proposed herein and validated against air-water data. Empirical correlations were proposed for air-water and steam-water data. Methods for developing analytical models of the air-water and steam-water systems are discussed, as is the applicability of the current data to the surge line conditions. This report documents the project results from July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008.
Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: Vierow, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Design and Development of Selective Extractants for An/Ln Separations

Description: This study has succeeded in further developing phosphinoylmethyl pyridine compounds as selective recognition and separations agents for trivalent lanthanide and actinide ions present in nuclear materials. The parameters for efficient separations have been further elucidated and factors important to further development have been identified. Further development will lead to optimal extractant design for effective actinide ion partitioning under process practical conditions. The primary objective of the project involved the design, synthesis, and characterization of the extraction performance of 2,6-bis(phosphinomethyl)pyridine N,P,P{prime}-trioxides (NOPOPO) as potential reagents for the separation of Am, Cm, and fission product lanthanides from other transuranics and fission products and for acting as a separations 'platform' for the mutual separation of Am/Cm from the lanthanides. The secondary but critical objective of the project focused on the characterization of aqueous acid and radiation stability of NOPOPO ligands. Further, the project served as a interdisciplinary training vehicle for new, young investigators in actinide separations chemistry.
Date: December 4, 2009
Creator: Paine, Robert T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Engineered Materials for Cesium and Strontium Storage Final Technical Report

Description: Closing the nuclear fuel cycle requires reprocessing spent fuel to recover the long-lived components that still have useful energy content while immobilizing the remnant waste fission products in stable forms. At the genesis of this project, next generation spent fuel reprocessing methods were being developed as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative. One of these processes was focused on solvent extraction schemes to isolate cesium (Cs) and strontium (Sr) from spent nuclear fuel. Isolating these isotopes for short-term decay storage eases the design requirements for long-term repository disposal; a significant amount of the radiation and decay heat in fission product waste comes from Cs-137 and Sr-90. For the purposes of this project, the Fission Product Extraction (FPEX) process is being considered to be the baseline extraction method. The objective of this project was to evaluate the nature and behavior of candidate materials for cesium and strontium immobilization; this will include assessments with minor additions of yttrium, barium, and rubidium in these materials. More specifically, the proposed research achieved the following objectives (as stated in the original proposal): (1) Synthesize simulated storage ceramics for Cs and Sr using an existing labscale steam reformer at Purdue University. The simulated storage materials will include aluminosilicates, zirconates and other stable ceramics with the potential for high Cs and Sr loading. (2) Characterize the immobilization performance, phase structure, thermal properties and stability of the simulated storage ceramics. The ceramic products will be stable oxide powders and will be characterized to quantify their leach resistance, phase structure, and thermophysical properties. The research progressed in two stages. First, a steam reforming process was used to generate candidate Cs/Sr storage materials for characterization. This portion of the research was carried out at Purdue University and is detailed in Appendix A. Steam reforming proved ...
Date: April 14, 2010
Creator: McDeavitt, Sean M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Report for the NERI Project

Description: This final report summarizes the research activities during the entire performance period of the NERI grant, including the extra 9 months granted under a no-cost time extension. Building up on the 14 quarterly reports submitted through October 2008, we present here an overview of the research accomplishments under the five tasks originally proposed in July 2004, together with citations for publications resulting from the project. The AFCI-NERI project provided excellent support for two undergraduate and 10 graduates students at the University of Michigan during a period of three years and nine months. Significant developments were achieved in three areas: (1) Efficient deterministic fuel cycle optimization algorithms both for PWR and SFR configurations, (2) Efficient search algorithm for PWR equilibrium cycles, and (3) Simplified Excel-based script for dynamic fuel cycle analysis of diverse cycles. The project resulted in a total of 8 conference papers and three journal papers, including two that will be submitted shortly. Three pending publications are attached to the report.
Date: March 31, 2009
Creator: Lee, John C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wall pressure measurements of flooding in vertical countercurrent annular air–water flow

Description: An experimental study of flooding in countercurrent air-water annular flow in a large diameter vertical tube using wall pressure measurements is described in this paper. Axial pressure profiles along the length of the test section were measured up to and after flooding using fast response pressure transducers for three representative liquid flow rates representing a wide range of liquid Reynolds numbers (ReL = 4Γ/μ; Γ is the liquid mass flow rate per unit perimeter; μ is the dynamic viscosity) from 3341 to 19,048. The results show that flooding in large diameter tubes cannot be initiated near the air outlet and is only initiated near the air inlet. Fourier analysis of the wall pressure measurements shows that up to the point of flooding, there is no dominant wave frequency but rather a band of frequencies encompassing both the low frequency and the broad band that are responsible for flooding. The data indicates that flooding in large diameter vertical tubes may be caused by the constructive superposition of a plurality of waves rather than the action of a single large-amplitude wave.
Date: January 1, 2010
Creator: Choutapalli, I., Vierow, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ab initio Based Modeling of Radiation Effects in Multi-Component Alloys: Final Scientific/Technical Report

Description: The project began March 13, 2006, allocated for three years, and received a one year extension from March 13, 2009 to March 12, 2010. It has now completed 48 of 48 total months. The project was focused on using ab initio methods to gain insights into radiation induced segregation (RIS) in Ni-Fe-Cr alloys. The project had the following key accomplishments • Development of a large database of ab initio energetics that can be used by many researchers in the future for increased understanding of this system. For example, we have the first calculations showing a dramatic stabilization effect of Cr-Cr interstitial dumbbells in Ni. • Prediction of both vacancy and interstitial diffusion constants for Ni-Cr and Ni-Fe for dilute Cr and Fe. This work included generalization of widely used multifrequency models to make use of ab initio derived energetics and thermodynamics. • Prediction of qualitative trends of RIS from vacancy and interstitial mechanisms, suggesting the two types of defect fluxes drive Cr RIS in opposite directions. • Detailed kinetic Monte Carlo modeling of diffusion by vacancy mechanism in Ni-Cr as a function of Cr concentration. The results demonstrate that Cr content can have a significant effect on RIS. • Development of a quantitative RIS transport model, including models for thermodynamic factors and boundary conditions.
Date: June 10, 2010
Creator: Morgan, Dane
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Flooding Experiments and Modeling for Improved Reactor Safety

Description: Countercurrent two-phase flow and “flooding” phenomena in light water reactor systems are being investigated experimentally and analytically to improve reactor safety of current and future reactors. The aspects that will be better clarified are the effects of condensation and tube inclination on flooding in large diameter tubes. The current project aims to improve the level of understanding of flooding mechanisms and to develop an analysis model for more accurate evaluations of flooding in the pressurizer surge line of a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR). Interest in flooding has recently increased because Countercurrent Flow Limitation (CCFL) in the AP600 pressurizer surge line can affect the vessel refill rate following a small break LOCA and because analysis of hypothetical severe accidents with the current flooding models in reactor safety codes shows that these models represent the largest uncertainty in analysis of steam generator tube creep rupture. During a hypothetical station blackout without auxiliary feedwater recovery, should the hot leg become voided, the pressurizer liquid will drain to the hot leg and flooding may occur in the surge line. The flooding model heavily influences the pressurizer emptying rate and the potential for surge line structural failure due to overheating and creep rupture. The air-water test results in vertical tubes are presented in this paper along with a semi-empirical correlation for the onset of flooding. The unique aspects of the study include careful experimentation on large-diameter tubes and an integrated program in which air-water testing provides benchmark knowledge and visualization data from which to conduct steam-water testing.
Date: September 14, 2008
Creator: Solmos, M., Hogan, K.J., VIerow, K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Determination of Basic Structure-Property Relations for Processing and Modeling in Advanced Nuclear Fuel: Microstructure Evolution and Mechanical Properties

Description: The project objective is to study structure-property relations in solid solutions of nitrides and oxides with surrogate elements to simulate the behavior of fuels of inert matrix fuels of interest to the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), with emphasis in zirconium-based materials. Work with actual fuels will be carried out in parallel in collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Three key aspects will be explored: microstructure characterization through measurement of global texture evolution and local crystallographic variations using Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD); determination of mechanical properties, including fracture toughness, quasi-static compression strength, and hardness, as functions of load and temperature, and, finally, development of structure-property relations to describe mechanical behavior of the fuels based on experimental data. Materials tested will be characterized to identify the mechanisms of deformation and fracture and their relationship to microstructure and its evolution. New aspects of this research are the inclusion of crystallographic information into the evaluation of fuel performance and the incorporation of statistical variations of microstructural variables into simplified models of mechanical behavior of fuels that account explicitly for these variations. The work is expected to provide insight into processing conditions leading to better fuel performance and structural reliability during manufacturing and service, as well as providing a simplified testing model for future fuel production.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Wheeler, Kirk; Parra, Manuel & Peralta, Pedro
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reactor Physics and Criticality Benchmark Evaluations for Advanced Nuclear Fuel - Final Technical Report

Description: The nuclear industry interest in advanced fuel and reactor design often drives towards fuel with uranium enrichments greater than 5 wt% 235U. Unfortunately, little data exists, in the form of reactor physics and criticality benchmarks, for uranium enrichments ranging between 5 and 10 wt% 235U. The primary purpose of this project is to provide benchmarks for fuel similar to what may be required for advanced light water reactors (LWRs). These experiments will ultimately provide additional information for application to the criticality-safety bases for commercial fuel facilities handling greater than 5 wt% 235U fuel.
Date: September 11, 2008
Creator: Anderson, William; Tulenko, James; Rearden, Bradley & Harms, Gary
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Selective Separation of Trivalent Actinides from Lanthanides by Aqueous Processing with Introduction of Soft Donor Atoms

Description: Implementation of a closed loop nuclear fuel cycle requires the utilization of Pu-containing MOX fuels with the important side effect of increased production of the transplutonium actinides, most importantly isotopes of Am and Cm. Because the presence of these isotopes significantly impacts the long-term radiotoxicity of high level waste, it is important that effective methods for their isolation and/or transmutation be developed. Furthermore, since transmutation is most efficiently done in the absence of lanthanide fission products (high yield species with large thermal neutron absorption cross sections) it is important to have efficient procedures for the mutual separation of Am and Cm from the lanthanides. The chemistries of these elements are nearly identical, differing only in the slightly stronger strength of interaction of trivalent actinides with ligand donor atoms softer than O (N, Cl-, S). Research being conducted around the world has led to the development of new reagents and processes with considerable potential for this task. However, pilot scale testing of these reagents and processes has demonstrated the susceptibility of the new classes of reagents to radiolytic and hydrolytic degradation. In this project, separations of trivalent actinides from fission product lanthanides have been investigated in studies of 1) the extraction and chemical stability properties of a class of soft-donor extractants that are adapted from water-soluble analogs, 2) the application of water soluble soft-donor complexing agents in tandem with conventional extractant molecules emphasizing fundamental studies of the TALSPEAK Process. This research was conducted principally in radiochemistry laboratories at Washington State University. Collaborators at the Radiological Processing Laboratory (RPL) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have contributed their unique facilities and capabilities, and have supported student internships at PNNL to broaden their academic experience. New information has been developed to qualify the extraction potential of a class of pyridine-functionalized tetraaza complexants ...
Date: September 22, 2009
Creator: Nash, Kenneth L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Sulfur-Iodine Cycle: Process Analysis and Design Using Comprehensive Phase Equilibrium Measurements and Modeling

Description: Of the 100+ thermochemical hydrogen cycles that have been proposed, the Sulfur-Iodine (S-I) Cycle is a primary target of international interest for the centralized production of hydrogen from nuclear power. However, the cycle involves complex and highly nonideal phase behavior at extreme conditions that is only beginning to be understood and modeled for process simulation. The consequence is that current designs and efficiency projections have large uncertainties, as they are based on incomplete data that must be extrapolated from property models. This situation prevents reliable assessment of the potential viability of the system and, even more, a basis for efficient process design. The goal of this NERI award (05-006) was to generate phase-equilibrium data, property models, and comprehensive process simulations so that an accurate evaluation of the S-I Cycle could be made. Our focus was on Section III of the Cycle, where the hydrogen is produced by decomposition of hydroiodic acid (HI) in the presence of water and iodine (I2) in a reactive distillation (RD) column. The results of this project were to be transferred to the nuclear hydrogen community in the form of reliable flowsheet models for the S-I process. Many of the project objectives were achieved. At Clemson University, a unique, tantalum-based, phase-equilibrium apparatus incorporating a view cell was designed and constructed for measuring fluid-phase equilibria for mixtures of iodine, HI, and water (known as HIx) at temperatures to 350 °C and pressures to 100 bar. Such measurements were of particular interest for developing a working understanding of the expected operation of the RD column in Section III. The view cell allowed for the IR observation and discernment of vapor-liquid (VL), liquid-liquid, and liquid-liquid-vapor (LLVE) equilibria for HIx systems. For the I2-H2O system, liquid-liquid equilibrium (LLE) was discovered to exist at temperatures up to 310-315 °C, in contrast ...
Date: January 10, 2010
Creator: Thies, Mark C.; O'Connell, J. P. & Gorensek, Maximilian B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of Risk-Based and Technology-Independent Safety Criteria for Generation IV Systems

Description: This project has developed quantitative safety goals for Generation IV (Gen IV) nuclear energy systems. These safety goals are risk based and technology independent. The foundations for a new approach to risk analysis has been developed, along with a new operational definition of risk. This project has furthered the current state-of-the-art by developing quantitative safety goals for both Gen IV reactors and for the overall Gen IV nuclear fuel cycle. The risk analysis approach developed will quantify performance measures, characterize uncertainty, and address a more comprehensive view of safety as it relates to the overall system. Appropriate safety criteria are necessary to manage risk in a prudent and cost-effective manner. This study is also important for government agencies responsible for managing, reviewing, and for approving advanced reactor systems because they are charged with assuring the health and safety of the public.
Date: March 31, 2009
Creator: Kastenberg, William E.; Blandford, Edward & Kim, Lance
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Feasibility of Recycling Plutonium and Minor Actinides in Light Water Reactors Using Hydride Fuel

Description: The objective of this DOE NERI program sponsored project was to assess the feasibility of improving the plutonium (Pu) and minor actinide (MA) recycling capabilities of pressurized water reactors (PWRs) by using hydride instead of oxide fuels. There are four general parts to this assessment: 1) Identifying promising hydride fuel assembly designs for recycling Pu and MAs in PWRs 2) Performing a comprehensive systems analysis that compares the fuel cycle characteristics of Pu and MA recycling in PWRs using the promising hydride fuel assembly designs identified in Part 1 versus using oxide fuel assembly designs 3) Conducting a safety analysis to assess the likelihood of licensing hydride fuel assembly designs 4) Assessing the compatibility of hydride fuel with cladding materials and water under typical PWR operating conditions Hydride fuel was found to offer promising transmutation characteristics and is recommended for further examination as a possible preferred option for recycling plutonium in PWRs.
Date: March 10, 2009
Creator: Greenspan, Ehud; Todreas, Neil & Taiwo, Temitope
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advanced Instrumentation and Control Methods for Small and Medium Reactors with IRIS Demonstration

Description: Development and deployment of small-scale nuclear power reactors and their maintenance, monitoring, and control are part of the mission under the Small Modular Reactor (SMR) program. The objectives of this NERI-consortium research project are to investigate, develop, and validate advanced methods for sensing, controlling, monitoring, diagnosis, and prognosis of these reactors, and to demonstrate the methods with application to one of the proposed integral pressurized water reactors (IPWR). For this project, the IPWR design by Westinghouse, the International Reactor Secure and Innovative (IRIS), has been used to demonstrate the techniques developed under this project. The research focuses on three topical areas with the following objectives. Objective 1 - Develop and apply simulation capabilities and sensitivity/uncertainty analysis methods to address sensor deployment analysis and small grid stability issues. Objective 2 - Develop and test an autonomous and fault-tolerant control architecture and apply to the IRIS system and an experimental flow control loop, with extensions to multiple reactor modules, nuclear desalination, and optimal sensor placement strategy. Objective 3 - Develop and test an integrated monitoring, diagnosis, and prognosis system for SMRs using the IRIS as a test platform, and integrate process and equipment monitoring (PEM) and process and equipment prognostics (PEP) toolboxes. The research tasks are focused on meeting the unique needs of reactors that may be deployed to remote locations or to developing countries with limited support infrastructure. These applications will require smaller, robust reactor designs with advanced technologies for sensors, instrumentation, and control. An excellent overview of SMRs is described in an article by Ingersoll (2009). The article refers to these as deliberately small reactors. Most of these have modular characteristics, with multiple units deployed at the same plant site. Additionally, the topics focus on meeting two of the eight needs outlined in the recently published 'Technology Roadmap on Instrumentation, ...
Date: May 31, 2011
Creator: Hines, J. Wesley; Upadhyaya, Belle R.; Doster, J. Michael; Edwards, Robert M.; Lewis, Kenneth D.; Turinsky, Paul et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department