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Report No.
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Analytical studies on fuel element failure propagation due to adventitious fuel pin failure in small to large size sodium-cooled fast reactors

Fukano, Yoshitaka

Probabilistic and deterministic safety assessments and experimental studies on local fault (LF) propagation in sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs) have been performed in many countries because LFs have been historically considered as one of the possible causes of severe accidents. Adventitious fuel pin failures have been considered to be the most dominant initiators of LFs in these probabilistic assessments because of its high frequency of occurrence during reactor operation and possibility of subsequent pin-to-pin failure propagation. The four possible mechanisms of fuel element failure propagation from adventitious fuel pin failure (FEFPA) were identified in the past study. All the mechanisms for FEFPA analysis including thermal, mechanical and chemical propagation were modeled into a safety assessment code which was applicable to arbitrary SFRs. Safety analyses on FEFPA of Japanese experimental fast reactor (JOYO), Japanese prototype fast breeder reactor (Monju), Japanese prototype fast breeder reactor with upgraded reactor core (Upgraded Monju) and Japan sodium-cooled fast reactor (JSFR) were performed using this methodology. Although analytical results were different owing to the different core designs in four SFRs, it was clarified in this study that FEFPA was highly unlikely in these SFRs. These results also suggest future possibility of long-term run-beyond-cladding-breach operation which would enhance the economic efficiency in SFRs.

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