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Report No.

Embrittlement and fracture behavior of pre-hydrided cladding under LOCA conditions

Nagase, Fumihisa ; Fuketa, Toyoshi

A systematic research program on high burnup fuel behavior under LOCA conditions is being conducted at JAERI. As a part of the program, integral thermal shock tests simulating the whole LOCA sequence were conducted with Zircaloy-4 fuel claddings, irradiated to 39 and 44 GWd/t at a PWR, to investigate behavior and condition of cladding fracture during quenching for safety evaluation. Differences were not clearly observed between irradiated and unirradiated claddings at similar hydrogen concentrations in terms of threshold of fracture during quenching, though the threshold is reduced as initial hydrogen concentration increases. Ductility of pre-hydrided, oxidized and quenched claddings was also evaluated by using ring-tensile and ring-compression tests. Embrittlement criteria (zero-ductility limits) from both the tests were lower than the fracture conditions in the integral thermal shock tests. This indicates that loading conditions should be well simulated to evaluate cladding performance under LOCA conditions.



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