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Report No.

Postirradiation examination of JOYO MK-II control rods; Irradiation performance of absorber pins

Maruyama, Tadashi; not registered; not registered ; Onose, Shoji ; not registered

Postirradiation examinations of JOYO MK-II control rods have been carried out since 1983, where 16 subassemblies with total 110 absorber pins of initial load to the fifth reload control rods have been subjected to a number of both non-destructive and destructive examinations. In the course of postirradiation examinations, a cracking of cladding tube was found in the total 15 absorber pins in five control assemblies. This paper indicates the results of postirradiation examinations and analysis of absorber pin performance using CORAL code to elucidate the cause of absorber pin cracking in JOYO MK-II control rods. No crack was found in absorber pins whose maximum burnup was lower than 39 $$times$$ 10$$^{26}$$ cap/m$$^{3}$$, whereas all the cracked pins had burnup of higher than 43 $$times$$ 10$$^{26}$$ cap/m$$^{3}$$ with the initial gap between B$$_{4}$$C pellet and cladding larger than 0.44 mm. The cracks were found at around positions corresponding to the lowest B$$_{4}$$C pellet in the stack. The ceramography analysis indicated that B$$_{4}$$C pellet exhibited extensive cracking and a part of gap between pellet and cladding closed. The cladding deformation had an ovality and the cracks tended to occur at the shorter diameter side. The cracked surface of absorber pin was of a typical grain boundary fracture. The result of He analysis for the cladding material indicated a substantial amount of He accumulation at the inner surface of cladding, but the bulk He content was not anomalously high compared with those in the neutron irradiated stainless steels. TEM observation indicated He bubbles was not clearly found in the as-irradiated cladding material. The cause of cladding failure was attributed to the ACMI where the gap closure due to relocation of B$$_{4}$$C pellet took place from early times of irradiation. The code analysis by CORAL indicated that the cladding strain due to ACMI was not fully absorbed by the irradiation creep and that the plastic strain became large enough to ...



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