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論文

The Precipitation and redistribution of alloying element in Zircaloy-4 cladding tube oxidized in high-temperature steam

天谷 政樹

High Temperature Corrosion of Materials, 15 Pages, 2024/00

Zirconium (Zr)-based alloys are widely used as fuel cladding material for light water reactors. Under a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) condition, the oxidation of fuel cladding by high-temperature steam induces the degradation of mechanical properties of the cladding and would affect the integrity of fuel rods and/or assemblies, etc., during LOCA. In this study, the distribution of the elements (zirconium, oxygen, tin, iron and chromium) in Zircaloy-4 cladding specimens oxidized in the temperature range of $$sim$$ 1350- $$sim$$ 1700 K in steam was analyzed along the radial direction of the specimens by using SEM/EPMA, and the cause of element distribution in the specimens was discussed in consideration of the morphology of precipitates in the specimens and hypothesized phase diagrams related to the elements contained in the specimens. The form of the particles precipitated and the comparison between SEM/EPMA results and hypothesized phase diagrams of Zr-Sn-O system suggested that the liquefaction of tin-rich material and/or Zr-(Fe,Cr) compounds occurred during the oxidation test. The results obtained indicate that Zircaloy-4 cladding tubes would start melting at the melting point of tin-oxide and the eutectic point of Zr-(Fe,Cr)compounds, which is much lower than the melting point of Zr, $$alpha$$-Zr(O), or zirconium oxide (ZrO$$_{2}$$).

論文

Engineering formulation of the irradiation growth behavior of zirconium-based alloys for light water reactors

垣内 一雄; 天谷 政樹; 宇田川 豊

Journal of Nuclear Materials, 573, p.154110_1 - 154110_7, 2023/01

 被引用回数:0 パーセンタイル:0.01(Materials Science, Multidisciplinary)

The irradiation growth behavior of coupon specimens prepared from improved Zr-based alloys for light-water reactor fuel cladding, which have various additive elements and fabrication conditions, was investigated by conducting an irradiation test at 573 and 593 K under typical PWR coolant conditions up to a fast-neutron fluence of $$approx$$7.8$$times$$10$$^{21}$$ (n/cm $$^{2}$$, E $$>$$1 MeV) in the Halden reactor in Norway. Based on the dimensional change data measured at interim and final inspections, the amounts of irradiation growth of the improved Zr-based alloys were formulated from the viewpoint of engineering. The trends of the parameters which express the effects of additive elements on irradiation growth behavior were in good agreement with those previously reported, and it was found that the amount of irradiation growth can be expressed by using a summation rule of the effect of each additive element on irradiation growth.

論文

Mechanical property evaluation with nanoindentation method on Zircaloy-4 cladding tube after LOCA-simulated experiment

垣内 一雄; 山内 紹裕*; 天谷 政樹; 宇田川 豊; 北野 剛司*

Proceedings of TopFuel 2022 (Internet), p.409 - 418, 2022/10

In order to examine the influence of cladding microstructural changes upon the mechanical property of the fuel cladding under LOCA conditions in a more direct and quantitative manner, the nanoindentation method has been applied to Zircaloy-4 cladding specimens after LOCA simulated tests (about 1473 K, ECR 20%, quench at 973 K after slow cooling); results for two specimens taken from the rupture opening part and secondary hydriding part were compared. In addition to hardness and Young's modulus, the plastic work fraction that corresponds to the relative ductility was evaluated from the load-displacement curve. The plastic work fraction at the secondary hydriding part was found to be obviously lower than that at the rupture opening part and closer to that in $$alpha$$-Zr(O) layers beneath the outer surface. This result from the nanoindentation method agrees with the conventional knowledge about low ductility at the secondary hydriding part.

論文

Irradiation growth behavior and effect of hydrogen absorption of Zr-based cladding alloys for PWR

垣内 一雄; 天谷 政樹; 宇田川 豊

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 171, p.109004_1 - 109004_9, 2022/06

 被引用回数:3 パーセンタイル:82.38(Nuclear Science & Technology)

In order to understand the dimensional stability of the fuel rod during long-term use in commercial LWRs, an irradiation growth testing in the Halden reactor of Norway was conducted on various fuel cladding materials including the improved Zr alloy. In this paper, the effect of hydrogen, which was absorbed in the cladding tube due to corrosion, on the irradiation growth behavior was evaluated. Comparison between the specimens with or without pre-charged hydrogen revealed that the effect of hydrogen absorption, accelerating irradiation growth, became significant when the hydrogen content exceeded the hydrogen solubility limit in the corresponding irradiation temperature. Analysis based on this understanding derived growth acceleration effect (0.06$$pm$$0.01)%/100 ppm, whose denominator is defined as the amount of absorbed hydrogen involved in hydride precipitation under irradiation as a relevant parameter.

論文

Development of fission gas release model for MOX fuel pellets with treatment of heterogeneous microstructure

田崎 雄大; 宇田川 豊; 天谷 政樹

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 59(3), p.382 - 394, 2022/03

 被引用回数:0 パーセンタイル:0.01(Nuclear Science & Technology)

This study develops a new fission gas release (FGR) model for mixed oxide (MOX) fuels with a fundamentally heterogeneous microstructure. The model adopted in FEMAXI-8 was applied to irradiation Instrumented Fuel Assembly (IFA)-626 and 702 tests in which two types of MOX fuels had different heterogeneity in their microstructure, while the other spec were similar. Upon analyzing these fuels, the original FGR model predicted lower FGR from the fuel with a remarkably heterogeneous microstructure than the other MOX fuel. This estimation contradicts the experimental observation. However, the new FGR model improved the consistency because of the early release of fission gas from Pu agglomerate region, and showed issues for aiming further improvement. Therefore, the above results confirmed a certain validity of the developed model for studying heterogeneity effect.

論文

Radiochemical analysis of the drain water sampled at the exhaust stack shared by Units 1 and 2 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

島田 亜佐子; 谷口 良徳; 垣内 一雄; 大平 早希; 飯田 芳久; 杉山 智之; 天谷 政樹; 丸山 結

Scientific Reports (Internet), 12(1), p.2086_1 - 2086_11, 2022/02

 被引用回数:0 パーセンタイル:35.78(Multidisciplinary Sciences)

2011年3月12日に福島第一原子力発電所の1号機のベントが行われ、1・2号機共用スタックから放射性ガスが放出された。本研究ではこのベントにより放出された放射性核種の情報を有していると考えられる、1・2号機共用スタック基部のドレンピットから採取したドレン水の放射化学分析を実施した。揮発性の$$^{129}$$Iや$$^{134}$$Cs, $$^{137}$$Csだけでなく、$$^{60}$$Co, $$^{90}$$Sr, $$^{125}$$Sb, 1号機由来安定Moが検出された。1号機由来安定Moの量はCsの量よりもはるかに少ないことから、事故時の炉内状況ではCs$$_{2}$$MoO$$_{4}$$の生成は抑制されたと考えられる。また、2020年10月時点では、約90%のIがI$$^{-}$$、約10%がIO$$_{3}$$$$^{-}$$で存在した。$$^{137}$$Csより多い$$^{129}$$Iが観測されたことから、事故時に$$^{131}$$IはCsIというよりも分子状のヨウ素として放出されたことが示唆された。2011年3月11日に減衰補正した$$^{134}$$Cs/$$^{137}$$Cs放射能比は0.86で、2号機や3号機由来と考えられる放射能比より低いことが示された。

論文

OECD/NEA benchmark on pellet-clad mechanical interaction modelling with fuel performance codes; Influence of pellet geometry and gap size

Soba, A.*; Prudil, A.*; Zhang, J.*; Dethioux, A.*; Han, Z.*; Dostal, M.*; Matocha, V.*; Marelle, V.*; Lasnel-Payan, J.*; Kulacsy, K.*; et al.

Proceedings of TopFuel 2021 (Internet), 10 Pages, 2021/10

The NEA Expert Group on Reactor Fuel Performance (EGRFP) proposed a benchmark on fuel performance codes modeling of pellet-cladding mechanical interation (PCMI). The aim of the benchmark was to improve understanding and modeling of PCMI amongst NEA member organizations. This was achieved by comparing PCMI predictions for a number of specified cases. The results of the two hypothetical cases (1 and 2) were presented earlier. The two final cases (3 and 4) are comparison between calculations and measurements, which will be published as NEA reports. This paper focuses on Case 3, which consists of eight beginning of life (BOL) sub-cases (3a to 3h) each with different pellet designs that have undergone ramping in the Halden Reactor. The aforementioned experiments are known as the IFA-118 experiments and were performed from 1969 to 1970. The variations between cases include four different pellets dimensions (7, 14, 20 and 30 mm of height), two different gapsizes between pellet-cladding (40 and 100 microns) and three variations on pellet face geometry (flat, dishing and dishing with chamfer). Such diversity has allowed exploring the codes sensitivity to these individual factors.

論文

Mechanical failure of high-burnup fuel rods with stress-relieved annealed and recrystallized M-MDA cladding under reactivity-initiated accident conditions

三原 武; 宇田川 豊; 杉山 智之; 天谷 政樹

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 58(8), p.872 - 885, 2021/08

 被引用回数:1 パーセンタイル:17.78(Nuclear Science & Technology)

To evaluate the effects of the hydride morphology and initial temperature of fuel cladding on the pellet-cladding mechanical interaction failure under reactivity-initiated accident (RIA) conditions, RIA-simulated experiments were performed on high-burnup fuels with stress-relieved annealed (SR) and recrystallized (RX) M-MDA$$^{TM}$$ cladding at room and high ($$sim$$ 280$$^{circ}$$C) temperatures. The results demonstrated that the failure-limit trend of RX-cladded fuels being lower than that of SR-cladded fuels for a similar hydrogen content holds up to at least about 700 wtppm. The observation of the fracture surfaces of failed RX cladding suggests a contribution of radially-oriented hydrides to the crack formation and/or penetration, which coincides with the aforementioned failure-limit trend. The temperature effect, namely the failure-limit rise at a high temperature, is evident irrespective of the hydride morphology, while the degree of the temperature effect decreases as the hydrogen content increases.

論文

Fission gas release from irradiated mixed-oxide fuel pellet during simulated reactivity-initiated accident conditions; Results of BZ-3 and BZ-4 tests

垣内 一雄; 宇田川 豊; 天谷 政樹

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 155, p.108171_1 - 108171_11, 2021/06

 被引用回数:0 パーセンタイル:17.78(Nuclear Science & Technology)

In order to investigate fission gas release behavior of high-burnup mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel pellet for LWR under reactivity-initiated accident (RIA), the tests called BZ-3 and BZ-4 were conducted at the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor (NSRR) in Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). Electron probe microanalysis and rod-puncture tests were performed on the fuel pellets before and after pulse irradiation tests, and from the comparison between the puncture test results and the results evaluated from EPMA, it was suggested that fission gas release from not only the Pu-spot but also the Pu-spot-excluded region.

報告書

軽水型動力炉の非常用炉心冷却系の性能評価指針の技術的根拠と高燃焼度燃料への適用性

永瀬 文久; 成川 隆文; 天谷 政樹

JAEA-Review 2020-076, 129 Pages, 2021/03

JAEA-Review-2020-076.pdf:3.9MB

軽水炉においては、冷却系配管破断等による冷却材喪失事故(LOCA)時にも炉心の冷却可能な形状を維持し放射性核分裂生成物の周辺への放出を抑制するために、非常用炉心冷却系(ECCS)が設置されている。ECCSの設計上の機能及び性能を評価し、評価結果が十分な安全余裕を有することを確認するために、「軽水型動力炉の非常用炉心冷却系の性能評価指針」が定められている。同指針に規定されている基準は1975年に定められた後、1981年に当時の最新知見を参考に見直しが行われている。その後、軽水炉においては燃料の高燃焼度化及びそれに必要な被覆管材料の改良や設計変更が進められたが、それに対応した指針の見直しは行われていない。一方、高燃焼度燃料のLOCA時挙動や高燃焼度燃料への現行指針の適用性に関する多くの技術的な知見が取得されてきている。本報告においては、我が国における指針の制定経緯及び技術的根拠を確認しつつ、国内外におけるLOCA時燃料挙動に係る最新の技術的知見を取りまとめる。また、同指針を高燃焼度燃料に適用することの妥当性に関する見解を述べる。

報告書

「グレーデッドアプローチに基づく合理的な安全確保検討グループ」活動状況中間報告(2019年9月$$sim$$2020年9月)

与能本 泰介; 中島 宏*; 曽野 浩樹; 岸本 克己; 井澤 一彦; 木名瀬 政美; 長 明彦; 小川 和彦; 堀口 洋徳; 猪井 宏幸; et al.

JAEA-Review 2020-056, 51 Pages, 2021/03

JAEA-Review-2020-056.pdf:3.26MB

「グレーデッドアプローチに基づく合理的な安全確保検討グループ」は、原子力科学研究部門、安全・核セキュリティ統括部、原子力施設管理部署、安全研究・防災支援部門の関係者約10名で構成され、機構の施設管理や規制対応に関する効果的なグレーデッドアプローチ(安全上の重要度に基づく方法)の実現を目的としたグループである。本グループは、2019年の9月に活動を開始し、以降、2020年9月末までに、10回の会合を開催するとともに、メール等も利用し議論を行ってきた。会合では、グレーデッドアプローチの基本的考え方、各施設での新規制基準等への対応状況、新検査制度等についての議論を行なうとともに、各施設での独自の検討内容の共有等を行っている。本活動状況報告書は、本活動の内容を広く機構内外で共有することにより、原子力施設におけるグレーデッドアプローチに基づく合理的で効果的な安全管理の促進に役立つことを期待し取りまとめるものである。

論文

高燃焼度燃料への非常用炉心冷却系性能評価指針の適用性検討に関する研究の状況

小澤 正明*; 天谷 政樹

日本原子力学会和文論文誌, 19(4), p.185 - 200, 2020/12

発電用軽水炉(LWR)では、冷却材喪失事故時に炉心の冷却可能形状を維持するとともに放射性核分裂生成物の公衆及び環境への放出を最低限にするために設計された非常用炉心冷却系(ECCS)が設けられている。LWR用ECCSに関する規制基準は、設計上の安全機能及び性能の評価並びに安全評価結果の安全裕度を確保するために定められている。日本における現在の基準は1981年に定められ、これは旧基準に対し当時の知見を加えたものである。この基準制定以降、燃料被覆管の材質、設計等を変えることで燃料燃焼度が進展し、これに伴い高燃焼度燃料のLOCA時の安全性を評価する研究を通して更に知見が蓄積されてきた。本論文では、日本の現行のECCS基準の高燃焼度燃料への適用性に関する最近の研究成果と今後の課題をまとめた。現在までに得られている研究成果によれば、燃焼度進展がLOCA時の被覆管酸化や急冷時破断限界に及ぼす影響は小さく、現行基準が高燃焼度燃料にも適用可能であることが分かった。

論文

The Influence of specimen surface roughness and temperature of steam injection on breakaway oxidation behavior of Zry-4 fuel cladding in steam at 1273 K

Negyesi, M.; 天谷 政樹

Oxidation of Metals, 94(3-4), p.283 - 299, 2020/10

 被引用回数:0 パーセンタイル:0(Metallurgy & Metallurgical Engineering)

Oxidation tests of Zry-4 fuel cladding in steam at 1273 K were carried out in this study. The effect of specimen surface roughness on the oxidation behavior was investigated. Steam was applied either at room temperature or at experimental temperature. Weight gain kinetics was evaluated by post-test weight measurement. Metallographic analysis was conducted using optical microscopy. Hydrogen pick-up was measured by gas extraction technique. The effect of specimen surface roughness on the oxidation kinetics as well as on the hydrogen absorption has not clearly been evidenced. The breakaway oxidation was suppressed significantly when the steam was applied at RT. The oxide breakaway was related to grain size of the base metal. Higher hydrogen absorption before the kinetic transition in the condition when steam was applied at 1273 K suggested enhanced oxide porosity.

論文

Evaluation of the maximum bending stress of pre-hydrided Zircaloy-4 cladding tube after simulated loss-of-coolant-accident test

岡田 裕史; 天谷 政樹

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 145, p.107539_1 - 107539_8, 2020/09

 被引用回数:0 パーセンタイル:0.01(Nuclear Science & Technology)

In order to evaluate the fracture resistance of fuel rods against a seismic loading which might be applied following a Loss-Of-Coolant-Accident (LOCA), the bending strength of fuel cladding which experienced a simulated LOCA has been investigated after the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. In consideration of previous studies and results, the effect of the amount of oxidation on the maximum bending stress of pre-hydrided cladding tube with a small amount of ballooning was investigated in this study. According to the obtained results, it was suggested that the decrease in the maximum bending stress of the cladding tube experienced LOCA conditions is mainly determined by the hydrogen concentration in the cladding tube after simulated LOCA test, irrespective of pre-hydriding. It was also suggested that the decreasing trend of the maximum bending stress with increasing the hydrogen concentration would be expressed by a form of exponential function, in which the maximum bending stress at a hydrogen concentration of 1500 ppm was estimated to be about a half of that at 0 ppm.

論文

Effects of pre-crack depth and hydrogen absorption on the failure strain of Zircaloy-4 cladding tubes under biaxial strain conditions

Li, F.; 三原 武; 宇田川 豊; 天谷 政樹

Proceedings of 2020 International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 2020) (Internet), 7 Pages, 2020/08

Fuel cladding may be subjected to biaxial tensile stress in axial and hoop directions during pellet-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI) of a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA). Incipient crack in the hydride rim assisted by the scattered hydrides in the metal phase may lead to failure of the cladding at small hoop strain level during PCMI. To get insight of such phenomenon, biaxial-EDC tests under axial to hoop strain ratios ranging from 0 to 1 were performed with pre-cracked (outer surface) and uniformly hydrided Zircaloy-4 cladding tube samples with final heat-treatment status of cold worked (CW), stress relieved (SR) and Recrystallized (RX). Results showed dependencies of failure hoop strain on pre-crack depth, strain ratio, hydrogen content and final heat-treatment status on fabrication, but no apparent dependencies were observed on the distribution pattern of hydrides (with similar hydrogen contents and hydrides predominantly precipitated in hoop direction) and the heat-treatment process for hydrogen charging. J integral at failure seems to be available to unify the effect of pre-crack depth.

論文

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

成川 隆文; 天谷 政樹

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 57(7), p.782 - 791, 2020/07

 被引用回数:4 パーセンタイル:55.71(Nuclear Science & Technology)

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.

論文

Fracture-mechanics-based evaluation of failure limit on pre-cracked and hydrided Zircaloy-4 cladding tube under biaxial stress states

Li, F.; 三原 武; 宇田川 豊; 天谷 政樹

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 57(6), p.633 - 645, 2020/06

 被引用回数:2 パーセンタイル:25.41(Nuclear Science & Technology)

To better understand the failure limit of fuel cladding during the pellet-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI) phase of a reactivity-initiated accident (RIA), pre-cracked and hydrided cladding samples with base metal final heat-treatment status of cold worked (CW) and recrystallized (RX) were tested under biaxial stress conditions (axial to hoop strain ratios of 0 and 0.5). Displacement-controlled biaxial-expansion-due-to-compression (biaxial-EDC) tests were performed to obtain the hoop strain at failure (failure strain) of the samples. The conversion of the failure strains to J-integral at failure by finite-element analysis involving data of stress-relieved (SR) cladding specimens from our previous study revealed that the failure limit in the dimension of J-integral at failure unifies the effects of pre-crack depth. About 30 to 50 percent reduction in the J-integral at failure was observed as the strain ratio increased from 0 to 0.5 irrespective of the annealing type, pre-crack depth, and hydrogen content. the rate of fractional decreases of J-integral at failure with increase of hydrogen content are in the order of CW$$>$$SR$$>$$RX, which are essentially independent of strain ratio for the CW and SR samples. The results were incorporated into the failure prediction model of the JAEA's fuel performance code in the form of a correction factor that considers the biaxial loading effect.

論文

Analytical study of SPERT-CDC test 859 using fuel performance codes FEMAXI-8 and RANNS

谷口 良徳; 宇田川 豊; 天谷 政樹

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 139, p.107188_1 - 107188_7, 2020/05

 被引用回数:1 パーセンタイル:12.83(Nuclear Science & Technology)

The fuel-failure-limit data obtained in the simulated reactivity-initiated-accident experiment SPERT-CDC 859 (SPERT859) has entailed a lot of discussions if it represents fuel-failure behavior of typical commercial LWRs for its specific pre-irradiation condition and fuel state. The fuel-rod conditions before and during SPERT859 were thus assessed by the fuel-performance codes FEMAXI-8 and RANNS with focusing on cladding corrosion and its effect on the failure limit of the test rod. The analysis showed that the fuel cladding was probably excessively corroded even when the influential calculation conditions such as fuel swelling and creep models were determined so that the lowest limit of the cladding oxide layer thickness was captured. Such assumption of excessive cladding corrosion during pre-irradiation well explains not only the test-rod state before pulse irradiation but also the fuel-failure limit observed. Such understanding undermines anew the representativeness of the test data as a direct basis of safety evaluation for LWR fuels.

論文

The Effect of base irradiation on failure behaviors of UO$$_{2}$$ and chromia-alumina additive fuels under simulated reactivity-initiated accidents; A Comparative analysis with FEMAXI-8

宇田川 豊; 三原 武; 谷口 良徳; 垣内 一雄; 天谷 政樹

Annals of Nuclear Energy, 139, p.107268_1 - 107268_9, 2020/05

AA2019-0372.pdf:0.81MB

 被引用回数:3 パーセンタイル:37.46(Nuclear Science & Technology)

This paper reports a computer-code analysis on the base-irradiation behavior of the chromia-and-alumina-doped BWR rod irradiated to 64 GWd/t in Oskarshamn-3, Sweden, and subjected to the reactivity-initiated-accident (RIA) test OS-1, which resulted in a fuel failure due to pellet-cladding mechanical interaction (PCMI) at the lowest fuel-enthalpy increase in all the BWR tests ever performed. The inverse calculation which utilized post-irradiation examination data as its constraint conditions revealed that the OS-1 rod had very likely experienced more intense PCMI loading due to higher swelling rate during base irradiation than other BWR rods subjected to previous RIA tests and thus had been prone to experience enhanced radial-hydride formation. The significant difference in the cladding hoop-stress more than 50 MPa discriminates the OS-1 rod from other BWR rods and supports the interpretation that enhanced radial-hydrides formation differentiated the PCMI-failure behavior observed in the test OS-1 from the previous BWR-fuel tests.

論文

燃料被覆管用改良合金の照射成長挙動

垣内 一雄; 天谷 政樹

日本原子力学会和文論文誌, 19(1), p.24 - 33, 2020/03

原子力事業者は、既存の発電用軽水炉のさらなる有効活用と安全性向上等のため、軽水炉燃料被覆管の組成を従来の材料から変更することで外表面腐食量や水素吸収量の抑制を図った改良型Zr燃料被覆管合金の開発を進めてきている。この改良合金Zr試料を対象として、試験用原子炉(ノルウェー・ハルデン炉)を用いた照射成長試験を実施した。種々の組成を有する改良合金Zr燃料被覆管からクーポン状の試験片を作製し、照射試験リグに装荷して、ハルデン炉の水ループ内で約8$$times$$10$$^{21}$$(n/cm$$^{2}$$、E$$>$$1MeV)まで照射した。照射温度は240, 300及び320$$^{circ}$$Cであり、照射温度300及び320$$^{circ}$$Cにおける水化学条件は商用PWR条件を模擬したもの、また照射温度240$$^{circ}$$Cについてはハルデン炉の冷却材条件であった。原子炉の停止期間中及び照射試験終了時には試験片の外観観察並びに試験片の長さ及び重量測定を行った。長さの変化量から求めた照射成長量は、照射温度、被覆管の製造時熱処理条件、製造時に添加した水素量等の条件が同じ場合、合金組成によらず同程度であった。また、照射成長量と照射欠陥の蓄積及び回復挙動との関係が改良合金においても示唆された。

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