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Report No.
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NSRR RIA-simulating experiments on high burnup LWR fuels

Fuketa, Toyoshi; Sugiyama, Tomoyuki; Sasajima, Hideo; Nagase, Fumihisa

LWR fuel behaviors during a reactivity initiated accident (RIA) are being studied in the NSRR program. Results from recent NSRR experiments, no failures in Tests OI-10 and -12 and the higher failure enthalpy in Test OI-11, reflect the better performance of the new cladding materials in terms of corrosion during PWR operations. Accordingly, these rods with improved corrosion resistance have larger safety margin than conventional Zircaloy-4 rods. In addition, the smaller inventory of inter-granular gas in the large grain pellet could reduce the fission gas release in RIA as observed in the OI-10. Test VA-1 was conducted with an MDA sheathed 78 MWd/kgU PWR fuel rod. Despite of the higher burnup and thicker oxide layer of $$sim$$81$$mu$$m, the enthalpy at failure remained in a same level as those for rods with of $$sim$$40$$mu$$m-oxide at 50 - 60 MWd/kgU. This result suggests high burnup structure (rim structure) in pellet periphery does not have strong effect on the failure enthalpy reduction because the PCMI load is produced primarily by solid thermal expansion of the pellet.

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