Improving Thermal Model Prediction Through Statistical Analysis of Irradiation and Post-Irradiation Data from AGR Experiments
Description: As part of the Research and Development program for Next Generation High Temperature Reactors (HTR), a series of irradiation tests, designated as Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR), have been defined to support development and qualification of fuel design, fabrication process, and fuel performance under normal operation and accident conditions. The AGR tests employ fuel compacts placed in a graphite cylinder shrouded by a steel capsule and instrumented with thermocouples (TC) embedded in graphite blocks enabling temperature control. The data representing the crucial test fuel conditions (e.g., temperature, neutron fast fluence, and burnup) while impossible to obtain from direct measurements are calculated by physics and thermal models. The irradiation and post-irradiation examination (PIE) experimental data are used in model calibration effort to reduce the inherent uncertainty of simulation results. This paper is focused on fuel temperature predicted by the ABAQUS code’s finite element-based thermal models. The work follows up on a previous study, in which several statistical analysis methods were adapted, implemented in the NGNP Data Management and Analysis System (NDMAS), and applied for improving qualification of AGR-1 thermocouple data. The present work exercises the idea that the abnormal trends of measured data observed from statistical analysis may be caused by either measuring instrument deterioration or physical mechanisms in capsules that may have shifted the system thermal response. As an example, the uneven reduction of the control gas gap in Capsule 5 revealed by the capsule metrology measurements in PIE helps justify the reduction in TC readings instead of TC drift. This in turn prompts modification of thermal model to better fit with experimental data, thus help increase confidence, and in other word reduce model uncertainties in thermal simulation results of the AGR-1 test.
Date: October 1, 2012
Creator: Pham, Dr. Binh T.; Hawkes, Grant L. & Einerson, Jeffrey J.
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