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Journal Articles

Comparative molecular simulation studies of oxidation reactions and hydrogen release for zirconium metals and silicon carbide under severe accident conditions

Machida, Masahiko; Nakamura, Hiroki; Srinivasan, S. G.*; Van Duin, A. C. T.*

Proceedings of 23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE-23) (DVD-ROM), 4 Pages, 2015/05

Zircalloy has been widely employed as an excellent material covering the fuel rod. The mechanical and thermal properties have been explored by various experiments. In terms of its use as the fuel cladding, its response to oxidation reactions is an important topic when it is exposed to high temperature and high pressure steam during severe accidents. Especially, the hydrogen production accompanied by the oxidation is critical because it can lead to the crisis of the hydrogen explosion, as observed in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accidents. Silicon carbide (SiC) has been considered as an alternative cladding material owing to an advantage that hydrogen production is much suppressed in the equivalent condition compared to Zircalloy. Therefore, we simulate the oxidation reaction for both materials, i.e. Zirconium metal and SiC in atomistic level by using the ReaxFF reactive force field method to simulate the chemical reaction molecular dynamics. Through such comparative studies between Zirconium and SiC in the same condition, we clarify how the temperature and the steam pressure accelerates the oxidation reaction and the resultant hydrogen production in both materials at typical severe accident conditions. The advantage using ReaxFF is that it allows us to directly trace the oxygen diffusion inside the Zirconium metal and SiC depending on the temperature and vapor pressure together with the oxidation reaction. We can compare the reaction processes in both materials. Especially, we paid attention to the rate of hydrogen production in both materials.

Journal Articles

ITER test blanket module error field simulation experiments at DIII-D

Schaffer, M. J.*; Snipes, J. A.*; Gohil, P.*; de Vries, P.*; Evans, T. E.*; Fenstermacher, M. E.*; Gao, X.*; Garofalo, A. M.*; Gates, D. A.*; Greenfield, C. M.*; et al.

Nuclear Fusion, 51(10), p.103028_1 - 103028_11, 2011/10

 Times Cited Count:32 Percentile:82.21(Physics, Fluids & Plasmas)

Experiments at DIII-D investigated the effects of ferromagnetic error fields similar to those expected from proposed ITER Test Blanket Modules (TBMs). Studied were effects on: plasma rotation and locking; confinement; L-H transition; edge localized mode (ELM) suppression by resonant magnetic perturbations; ELMs and the H-mode pedestal; energetic particle losses; and more. The experiments used a 3-coil mock-up of 2 magnetized ITER TBMs in one ITER equatorial port. The experiments did not reveal any effect likely to preclude ITER operations with a TBM-like error field. The largest effect was slowed plasma toroidal rotation v across the entire radial profile by as much as $$Delta v/v_{0} sim 50%$$ via non-resonant braking. Changes to global $$Delta n/n_{0}$$, $$Delta v/v_{0}$$ and $$Delta H_{98}/H_{98,0}$$ were $$sim$$3 times smaller. These effects are stronger at higher $$beta$$ and lower $$v_{0}$$. Other effects were smaller.

Oral presentation

Results of ITER test blanket module mock-up experiments on DIII-D

Snipes, J. A.*; Schaffer, M. J.*; Gohil, P.*; de Vries, P.*; Fenstermacher, M. E.*; Evans, T. E.*; Gao, X. M.*; Garofalo, A.*; Gates, D. A.*; Greenfield, C. M.*; et al.

no journal, , 

A series of experiments was performed on DIII-D to mock-up the field that will be induced in a pair of ferromagnetic Test Blanket Modules (TBMs) in ITER to determine the effects of such error fields on plasma operation and performance. A set of coils producing both poloidal and toroidal fields was placed inside a re-entrant horizontal port close to the plasma. The coils produce a localized ripple due to the toroidal field (TF) + TBM up to 5.7%, which is more than four times that expected from a pair of representative 1.3 ton TBMs in ITER. The experiments show that the reduction in the toroidal rotation is sensitive to the ripple. On the other hand, the confinement is reduced by up to 15-18% for local ripple $$ge$$ 3% but is hardly affected at 1.7% local ripple.

Oral presentation

Molecular dynamics studies for Zr metallic alloys in high temperature and pressure

Machida, Masahiko; Nakamura, Hiroki; Srinivasan, S. G.*; Van Duin, A. C. T.*

no journal, , 

no abstracts in English

Oral presentation

Molecular dynamics studies for oxidation reaction of Zr metals in high-temperature and high-pressure steam condition

Machida, Masahiko; Nakamura, Hiroki; Srinivasan, S. G.*; Van Duin, A. C. T.*

no journal, , 

Zircalloy has been widely employed as an excellent material covering the fuel rod. The mechanical and thermal properties have been explored by various experiments. In terms of its use as the fuel cladding, the oxidation reaction is an important topic when exposed to high temperature and high pressure steam in severe accidents. Especially, the hydrogen nucleation accompanied by the oxidation is critical because it leads to the crisis of the hydrogen explosion as observed in the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accidents. Therefore, in this study, we simulate the oxidation reaction in atomistic level by using ReaxFF simulating the chemical reaction in addition to usual molecular dynamics and clarify how the surrounding situation as the temperature and steam pressure accelerates the oxidation reaction and resultant hydrogen nucleation. The advantage using ReaxFF is to directly trace the oxygen diffusion inside Zircalloy depending on the temperature and vapour pressure together with the oxidation reaction. The calculation results reveal that the oxygen diffusion from the top surface to internal area occurs and nucleated hydrogen molecules move out when increasing the temperature above a certain temperature and pressure.

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