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Four-point-bend tests on high-burnup advanced fuel cladding tubes after exposure to simulated LOCA conditions

Narukawa, Takafumi ; Amaya, Masaki

To evaluate the fracture resistance of high-burnup advanced fuel cladding tubes during the long-term core cooling period following loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCAs), laboratory-scale four-point-bend tests were performed using the following advanced fuel cladding tubes with burnups of 73 - 84 GWd/t: low-tin ZIRLO$textsuperscript{texttrademark}$, M5$textsuperscript{textregistered}$, and Zircaloy-2 (LK3). Three four-point-bend tests were performed on the high-burnup advanced fuel cladding tube specimens subjected to the integral thermal shock tests which simulated LOCA conditions (ballooning and rupture, oxidation in high-temperature steam, and quench). During the four-point-bend tests, all the specimens that were oxidized at 1474 K to 9.9% - 21.5% equivalent cladding reacted exhibited brittle fractures. The maximum bending moments were comparable to those of the conventional Zircaloy cladding tube specimens. Furthermore, the effects of oxidation and hydriding on the maximum bending moment were comparable between the high-burnup advanced fuel cladding tube specimens and the unirradiated Zircaloy-4 cladding tube specimens. Therefore, it can be concluded that the post-LOCA fracture resistance of fuel cladding tubes is not significantly reduced by extending the burnup to 84 GWd/t and using the advanced fuel cladding tubes, though it may slightly decrease with increasing initial hydrogen concentration in a relatively lower ECR range ($$<$$ 15%), as observed for the unirradiated Zircaloy-4 cladding tubes.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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