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Status of the NGNP Fuel Experiment AGR-2 Irradiated 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). 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 was completed in November 2009. The second experiment (AGR-2), which utilized the same experiment design as well as control and monitoring systems as AGR-1, started irradiation in June 2010 and is currently scheduled to be completed in April 2013. The design of this experiment and support systems will be briefly discussed, followed by the progress and status of the experiment to date.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Grover, Blaine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compaction Scale Up and Optimization of Cylindrical Fuel Compacts for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant

Description: Multiple process approaches have been used historically to manufacture cylindrical nuclear fuel compacts. Scale-up of fuel compacting was required for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project to achieve an economically viable automated production process capable of providing a minimum of 10 compacts/minute with high production yields. In addition, the scale-up effort was required to achieve matrix density equivalent to baseline historical production processes, and allow compacting at fuel packing fractions up to 46% by volume. The scale-up approach of jet milling, fluid-bed overcoating, and hot-press compacting adopted in the U.S. Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development Program involves significant paradigm shifts to capitalize on distinct advantages in simplicity, yield, and elimination of mixed waste. A series of designed experiments have been completed to optimize compaction conditions of time, temperature, and forming pressure using natural uranium oxycarbide (NUCO) fuel. Results from these experiments are included. The scale-up effort is nearing completion with the process installed and operational using nuclear fuel materials. The process is being certified for manufacture of qualification test fuel compacts for the AGR-5/6/7 experiment at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Einerson, Jeffrey J.; Phillips, Jeffrey A.; Shaber, Eric L.; Niedzialek, Scott E.; Richardson, W. Clay & Nagley, Scott G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

AGR-1 Fuel Compact 6-3-2 Post-Irradiation Examination Results

Description: Destructive post-irradiation examination was performed on fuel Compact 6-3-2, which was irradiated in the AGR-1 experiment to a final compact average burnup of 11.3% FIMA and a time-average, volume-average temperature of 1070°C. The analysis of this compact was focused on characterizing the extent of fission product release from the particles and examining particles to determine the condition of the kernels and coating layers. The work included deconsolidation of the compact and leach-burn-leach analysis, visual inspection and gamma counting of individual particles, measurement of fuel burnup by several methods, metallurgical preparation of selected particles, and examination of particle cross-sections with optical microscopy. A single particle with a defective SiC layer was identified during deconsolidation-leach-burn-leach analysis, which is in agreement with previous measurements showing elevated cesium in the Capsule 6 graphite fuel holder associated with this fuel compact. The fraction of the compact europium inventory released from the particles and retained in the matrix was relatively high (approximately 6E-3), indicating release from intact particle coatings. The Ag-110m inventory in individual particles exhibited a very broad distribution, with some particles retaining =80% of the predicted inventory and others retaining less than 25%. The average degree of Ag-110m retention in 60 gamma counted particles was approximately 50%. This elevated silver release is in agreement with analysis of silver on the Capsule 6 components, which indicated an average release of 38% of the Capsule 6 inventory from the fuel compacts. In spite of the relatively high degree of silver release from the particles, virtually none of the Ag-110m released was found in the compact matrix, and presumably migrated out of the compact and was deposited on the irradiation capsule components. Release of all other fission products from the particles appears to be less than a single particle equivalent inventory. Burnup measurements based on gamma spectrometry ...
Date: December 1, 2012
Creator: demkowicz, Paul; Harp, jason & Ploger, Scott
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

AGR-2 Data Qualification Report for ATR Cycles 149B, 150A, 150B, 151A, and 151B

Description: This report provides the data qualification status of AGR-2 fuel irradiation experimental data from Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) cycles 149B, 150A, 150B, 151A, and 151B), as recorded in the Nuclear Data Management and Analysis System (NDMAS). The AGR-2 data streams addressed include thermocouple temperatures, sweep gas data (flow rate, pressure, and moisture content), and fission product monitoring system (FPMS) data for each of the six capsules in the experiment. A total of 3,307,500 5-minute thermocouple and sweep gas data records were received and processed by NDMAS for this period. There are no AGR-2 data for cycle 150A because the experiment was removed from the reactor. Of these data, 82.2% were determined to be Qualified based on NDMAS accuracy testing and data validity assessment. There were 450,557 Failed temperature records due to thermocouple failures, and 138,528 Failed gas flow records due to gas flow cross-talk and leakage problems that occurred in the capsules after cycle 150A. For FPMS data, NDMAS received and processed preliminary release rate and release-to-birth rate ratio (R/B) data for the first three reactor cycles (cycles 149B, 150B, and 151B). This data consists of 45,983 release rate records and 45,235 R/B records for the 12 radionuclides reported. The qualification status of these FPMS data has been set to In Process until receipt of QA-approved data generator reports. All of the above data have been processed and tested using a SAS®-based enterprise application software system, stored in a secure Structured Query Language database, and made available on the NDMAS Web portal (http://ndmas.inl.gov) for both internal and external VHTR project participants.
Date: June 1, 2012
Creator: Abbott, Michael L. & Pham, Binh T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

AGC-2 Irradiation Data Qualification Final Report

Description: The Graphite Technology Development Program will run a series of six experiments to quantify the effects of irradiation on nuclear grade graphite. The second Advanced Graphite Creep (AGC) experiment (AGC-2) began with Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) Cycle 149A on April 12, 2011, and ended with ATR Cycle 151B on May 5, 2012. The purpose of this report is to qualify AGC-2 irradiation monitoring data following INL Management and Control Procedure 2691, Data Qualification. Data that are Qualified meet the requirements for data collection and use as described in the experiment planning and quality assurance documents. Data that do not meet the requirements are Failed. Some data may not quite meet the requirements, but may still provide some useable information. These data are labeled as Trend. No Trend data were identified for the AGC-2 experiment. All thermocouples functioned throughout the AGC-2 experiment. There was one instance where spurious signals or instrument power interruption resulted in a recorded temperature value being well outside physical reality. This value was identified and labeled as Failed data. All other temperature data are Qualified. All helium and argon gas flow data are within expected ranges. Total gas flow was approximately 50 sccm through the capsule. Helium gas flow was briefly increased to 100 sccm during reactor shutdown. All gas flow data are Qualified. At the start of the experiment, moisture in the outflow gas line increased to 200 ppmv then declined to less than 10 ppmv over a period of 5 days. This increase in moisture coincides with the initial heating of the experiment and drying of the system. Moisture slightly exceeded 10 ppmv three other times during the experiment. While these moisture values exceed the 10 ppmv threshold value, the reported measurements are considered accurate and to reflect moisture conditions in the capsule. All moisture ...
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Hull, Laurence C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tritium Permeability of Incoloy 800H and Inconel 617

Description: Design of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) reactor and its high-temperature components requires information regarding the permeation of fission generated tritium and hydrogen product through candidate heat exchanger alloys. Release of fission-generated tritium to the environment and the potential contamination of the helium coolant by permeation of product hydrogen into the coolant system represent safety basis and product contamination issues. Of the three potential candidates for high-temperature components of the NGNP reactor design, only permeability for Incoloy 800H has been well documented. Hydrogen permeability data have been published for Inconel 617, but only in two literature reports and for partial pressures of hydrogen greater than one atmosphere, far higher than anticipated in the NGNP reactor. To support engineering design of the NGNP reactor components, the tritium permeability of Inconel 617 and Incoloy 800H was determined using a measurement system designed and fabricated at Idaho National Laboratory. The tritium permeability of Incoloy 800H and Inconel 617, was measured in the temperature range 650 to 950°C and at primary concentrations of 1.5 to 6 parts per million volume tritium in helium. (partial pressures of 10-6 atm)—three orders of magnitude lower partial pressures than used in the hydrogen permeation testing. The measured tritium permeability of Incoloy 800H and Inconel 617 deviated substantially from the values measured for hydrogen. This may be due to instrument offset, system absorption, presence of competing quantities of hydrogen, surface oxides, or other phenomena. Due to the challenge of determining the chemical composition of a mixture with such a low hydrogen isotope concentration, no categorical explanation of this offset has been developed.
Date: July 1, 2012
Creator: Winston, Philip; Calderoni, Pattrick & Humrickhouse, Paul
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NDMAS System and Process Description

Description: Experimental data generated by the Very High Temperature Reactor Program need to be more available to users in the form of data tables on Web pages that can be downloaded to Excel or in delimited text formats that can be used directly for input to analysis and simulation codes, statistical packages, and graphics software. One solution that can provide current and future researchers with direct access to the data they need, while complying with records management requirements, is the Nuclear Data Management and Analysis System (NDMAS). This report describes the NDMAS system and its components, defines roles and responsibilities, describes the functions the system performs, describes the internal processes the NDMAS team uses to carry out the mission, and describes the hardware and software used to meet Very High Temperature Reactor Program needs.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Hull, Larry
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

Design and Status of the NGNP Fuel Experiment AGR-3/4 Irradiated 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). 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 was completed in November 2009. The second experiment (AGR-2) started irradiation in June 2010 and is currently scheduled to be completed in April 2013. The third and fourth experiments have been combined into a single experiment designated AGR-3/4, which started its irradiation in December 2011 and is currently scheduled to be completed in November 2013. Since the purpose of this experiment is to provide data on fission product migration and retention in the NGNP reactor, the design of this experiment is significantly ...
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Grover, Blaine
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Silver (Ag) Transport Mechanisms in TRISO coated particles: A Critical Review

Description: Transport of 110mAg in the intact SiC layer of TRISO coated particles has been studied for approximately 30 years without arriving at a satisfactory explanation of the transport mechanism. In this paper the possible mechanisms postulated in previous experimental studies, both in-reactor and out-of reactor research environment studies are critically reviewed and of particular interest are relevance to very high temperature gas reactor operating and accident conditions. Among the factors thought to influence Ag transport are grain boundary stoichiometry, SiC grain size and shape, the presence of free silicon, nano-cracks, thermal decomposition, palladium attack, transmutation products, layer thinning and coated particle shape. Additionally new insight to nature and location of fission products has been gained via recent post irradiation electron microscopy examination of TRISO coated particles from the DOE’s fuel development program. The combined effect of critical review and new analyses indicates a direction for investigating possible the Ag transport mechanism including the confidence level with which these mechanisms may be experimentally verified.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Rooyen, I J van; Neethling, J H; Engelbrecht, J A A; Rooyen, P M van & Strydom, G
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department