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JAEA Reports

Development of thin SiC neutron detector with high radiation resistance (Contract research); FY2018 Center of World Intelligence Project for Nuclear Science/Technology and Human Resource Development

Collaborative Laboratories for Advanced Decommissioning Science; Kyoto University*

JAEA-Review 2019-042, 43 Pages, 2020/03


JAEA/CLADS, had been conducting the Center of World Intelligence Project for Nuclear Science/Technology and Human Resource Development (hereafter referred to "the Project") in FY2018. The Project aims to contribute to solving problems in nuclear energy field represented by the decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. For this purpose, intelligence was collected from all over the world, and basic research and human resource development were promoted by closely integrating/collaborating knowledge and experiences in various fields beyond the barrier of conventional organizations and research fields. Among the adopted proposals in FY2018, this report summarizes the research results of the "Development of Thin SiC Neutron Detector with High Radiation Resistance". In the works for debris retrieval, it is required to install subcritical surveillance radiation monitors that can surely work for long time under extremely high gamma-ray radiation environment. However, there have been problems such as remote control of conventional radiation monitors is difficult because heavy radiation shields are needed. In the present study, we will develop a neutron detector using thin, light-weight and radiation-resistive silicon carbide (SiC) that has low sensitivity to gamma-rays as well as the data collection system in collaboration with the U.K. Using this system, the performance tests will be conducted supposing the real debris retrieval including the irradiation tests. Based on the results, we will conduct research and development aiming to make the system ready for use in real decommissioning works.

JAEA Reports

Code-B-2.5.2 for stress calculation for SiC-TRISO fuel particle

Aihara, Jun; Goto, Minoru; Ueta, Shohei; Tachibana, Yukio

JAEA-Data/Code 2019-018, 22 Pages, 2020/01


Concept of Pu-burner high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) was proposed for purpose of more safely reducing amount of recovered Pu. In Pu-burner HTGR concept, coated fuel particle (CFP), with ZrC coated yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ) containing PuO$$_{2}$$ (PuO$$_{2}$$-YSZ) small particle and with tri-structural isotropic (TRISO) coating, is employed for very high burn-up and high nuclear proliferation resistance. ZrC layer is oxygen getter. On the other hand, we have developed Code-B-2.5.2 for prediction of pressure vessel failure probabilities of SiC-tri-isotropic (TRISO) coated fuel particles for HTGRs under operation by modification of an existing code, Code-B-2. The main purpose of modification is preparation of applying code for CFPs of Pu-burner HTGR. In this report, basic formulae are described.

Journal Articles

Recent activities in the field of reactor physics

Fukushima, Masahiro; Tojo, Masayuki*

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 56(12), p.1061 - 1062, 2019/12

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

Reactor Physics that treat the essentials of how fission nuclear reactors work fundamentally has important roles on safe operations and design studies of various types of nuclear reactors. From the latest activities in the field of reactor physics, this report summarizes some outstanding researches and developments published in scientific journals including the Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology.

Journal Articles

Development of low inductance circuit for radially symmetric circuit

Takayanagi, Tomohiro; Ueno, Tomoaki; Horino, Koki

Journal of Physics; Conference Series, 1350(1), p.012183_1 - 012183_7, 2019/12

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100

As one of the advanced research and development for maintaining the stable operation of J-PARC RCS, we are developing semiconductor switch circuit for thyratron substitute adopted in kicker system. Radiation symmetric type circuits using semiconductors of SIC-MOSFETs are composed of circuits in which many semiconductor switches are multiplexed in parallel. Since the lengths of all parallel circuits are equal, the output waveform will not be distorted due to timing jitter or impedance. This circuit is useful for outputting the waveform of ultrafast short pulse. Therefore, we have developed a circuit that achieves further low inductance by making the power transmission circuit into a double circular ring structure equal to the coaxial shape. Compare the inductance value obtained from the structure and the output waveform. In addition, we compare the calculation and the measurement in the test and present the verification result of the developed circular ring structure.

Journal Articles

Development of fabrication and inspection technologies for oxidation-resistant fuel element for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors

Aihara, Jun; Yasuda, Atsushi*; Ueta, Shohei; Ogawa, Hiroaki; Honda, Masaki*; Ohira, Koichi*; Tachibana, Yukio

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai Wabun Rombunshi, 18(4), p.237 - 245, 2019/12

Development of fabrication and inspection technologies of oxidation resistant fuel element for improvement of safety of high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) in severe oxidation accident was carried out. Simulated coated fuel particles (CFPs), alumina particles, were over-coated with mixed powder of Si, C and small amount of resin to form over-coated particles, and over-coated particles were molded and hot-pressed to sinter simulated oxidation resistant fuel elements with SiC/C mixed matrix. Simulated oxidation resistant fuel elements with matrix whose Si/C mole ratio is 1.00 were fabricated. Failure fraction of CFPs in fuel elements is one of very important inspection subjects of HTGR fuel. It is essential that CFPs are extracted from fuel elements without additional failure. Development of method for extraction of CFPs was carried out. Desolation of SiC by KOH method or pressurized acidolysis method should be applied to extraction of CFPs.

JAEA Reports

Automation technique of analytical pre-treatment for radioactive sample measurement using the program written by visual basic for applications

Yamamoto, Masahiko; Karo, Yoshinori*; Kodaka, Noriyasu; Kuno, Takehiko

JAEA-Technology 2019-014, 68 Pages, 2019/10


Analytical devices like syringe pump, electric burette, fraction collector, and electric valve have been controlled by the program written with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA Macro) to automate the column separation of radioactive sample measurement. It is found that VBA Macro can control each device. Therefore, automatic conditioning and separation equipment were made by combining each device and sequentially controlling with the program. The automation conditioning equipment can repeatedly perform conditioning operation with maximum of 8 columns. The automation separation equipment can separate and recover Sr in simulated highly active liquid waste by using Eichrom Technologies Sr resin. It is found that the developed automation method, using commercially available VBA Macro, is effective to reduce labor work, operator's radiation exposure, and to prevent operational error of analysis, together with reducing the cost of automation.

Journal Articles

The Analytical study of inventories and physicochemical configuration of spallation products produced in Lead-Bismuth Eutectic of Accelerator Driven System

Miyahara, Shinya*; Ohdaira, Naoya*; Arita, Yuji*; Maekawa, Fujio; Matsuda, Hiroki; Sasa, Toshinobu; Meigo, Shinichiro

Nuclear Engineering and Design, 352, p.110192_1 - 110192_8, 2019/10

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nuclear Science & Technology)

Lead-Bismuth Eutectic (LBE) is used as a spallation neutron target and coolant materials of Accelerator Driven System (ADS), and many kinds of elements are produced as spallation products. It is important to evaluate the release and transport behavior of the spallation products in the LBE. The inventories and the physicochemical composition of the spallation products produced in LBE have been investigated for an LBE loop in the ADS Target Test Facility (TEF-T) in J-PARC. The inventories of the spallation products in the LBE were estimated using the PHITS code. The physicochemical composition of the spallation products in the LBE was calculated using the Thermo-Calc code under the conditions of the operation temperatures of LBE from 350$$^{circ}$$C to 500$$^{circ}$$C and the oxygen concentrations in LBE from 10 ppb to 1 ppm. The calculation showed that the 5 elements of Rb, Tl, Tc, Os, Ir, Pt, Au and Hg were soluble in LBE under the all given conditions and any kinds of compound were not formed in LBE. It was suggested that the oxides of Ce, Sr, Zr and Y were stable as CeO$$_{2}$$, SrO, ZrO$$_{2}$$ and Y$$_{2}$$O$$_{3}$$ in the LBE.

Journal Articles

Overview of accident-tolerant fuel R&D program in Japan

Yamashita, Shinichiro; Ioka, Ikuo; Nemoto, Yoshiyuki; Kawanishi, Tomohiro; Kurata, Masaki; Kaji, Yoshiyuki; Fukahori, Tokio; Nozawa, Takashi*; Sato, Daiki*; Murakami, Nozomu*; et al.

Proceedings of International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference / Light Water Reactor Fuel Performance Conference (Global/Top Fuel 2019) (USB Flash Drive), p.206 - 216, 2019/09

After the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, research and development (R&D) program for establishing technical basis of accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) started from 2015 in Japan. Since then, both experimental and analytical studies necessary for designing a new light water reactor (LWR) core with ATF candidate materials are being conducted within the Japanese ATF R&D Consortium for implementing ATF to the existing LWRs, accompanying with various technological developments required. Until now, we have accumulated experimental data of the candidate materials by out-of-pile tests, developed fuel evaluation codes to apply to the ATF candidate materials, and evaluated fuel behavior simulating operational and accidental conditions by the developed codes. In this paper, the R&D progresses of the ATF candidate materials considered in Japan are reviewed based on the information available such as proceedings of international conference and academic papers, providing an overview of ATF program in Japan.

Journal Articles

Dynamic properties of human $$alpha$$-synuclein related to propensity to amyloid fibril formation

Fujiwara, Satoru*; Kono, Fumiaki*; Matsuo, Tatsuhito*; Sugimoto, Yasunobu*; Matsumoto, Tomoharu*; Narita, Tetsuhiro*; Shibata, Kaoru

Journal of Molecular Biology, 431(17), p.3229 - 3245, 2019/08

 Times Cited Count:1 Percentile:58.97(Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

$$alpha$$-synuclein ($$alpha$$Syn) is an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) with unknown function. $$alpha$$Syn is known to form amyloid fibrils, which are implicated with the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. Elucidating the mechanism of fibril formation of $$alpha$$Syn is therefore important for understanding the mechanism of the pathogenesis of these diseases. Here, using the quasielastic neutron scattering (QENS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) techniques, we investigated the dynamic and structural properties of $$alpha$$Syn. These results imply that fibril formation of $$alpha$$Syn requires not only the enhanced local motions but also the segmental motions such that the proper inter-molecular interactions are possible.

Journal Articles

Longitudinal strain of epitaxial graphene monolayers on SiC substrates evaluated by $$z$$-polarization Raman microscopy

Saito, Yuika*; Tokiwa, Kenshiro*; Kondo, Takahiro*; Bao, J.*; Terasawa, Tomoo; Norimatsu, Wataru*; Kusunoki, Michiko*

AIP Advances (Internet), 9(6), p.065314_1 - 065314_6, 2019/06

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Nanoscience & Nanotechnology)

Journal Articles

Study of SiC-matrix fuel element for HTGR

Mizuta, Naoki; Aoki, Takeshi; Ueta, Shohei; Ohashi, Hirofumi; Yan, X.

Proceedings of 27th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE-27) (Internet), 5 Pages, 2019/05

Enhancement of safety and cooling performance of fuel elements are desired for a commercial High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR). Applying sleeveless fuel elements and dual side directly cooling structures with oxidation resistant SiC-matrix fuel compact has a possibility of improving safety and cooling performance at the pin-in-block type HTGR. The irradiated effective thermal conductivity of a fuel compact is an important physical property for core thermal design of the pin-in-block type HTGR. In order to discuss the irradiated effective thermal conductivity of the SiC-matrix fuel compact which could improve the cooling performance of the reactor, the maximum fuel temperature during normal operation of the pin-in-block type HTGR with dual side directly cooling structures are analytically evaluated. From these results, the desired irradiated thermal conductivity of SiC matrix are discussed. In addition, the suitable fabrication method of SiC-matrix fuel compact is examined from viewpoints of the sintering temperature, the purity and the mass productivity.

Journal Articles

Development of fabrication technology for oxidation-resistant fuel elements for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors

Aihara, Jun; Honda, Masaki*; Ueta, Shohei; Ogawa, Hiroaki; Ohira, Koichi*; Tachibana, Yukio

Nippon Genshiryoku Gakkai Wabun Rombunshi, 18(1), p.29 - 36, 2019/03

Japan Atomic Energy Agency carried out development of fabrication technology of oxidation resistant fuel element for improvement of safety of high temperature gas-cooled reactors in serious oxidation accident, based on precursor research in former JAEA. Dummy coated fuel particles (alumina particles) were over-coated with mixed powder of Si, C and small amount of resin to form over-coated particles, and over-coated particles were molded and hot-pressed to sinter dummy oxidation resistant fuel elements with SiC/C mixed matrix. We fabricated dummy oxidation resistant fuel elements with matrix whose Si/C mole ratio (about 0.551) is three times as large as that in precursor research. Si peak was not detected by X-ray diffraction of matrix. Better oxidation resistant was confirmed with oxidation test in 20% O$$_{2}$$ at 1673 K than that of ordinal fuel compact with ordinal graphite/carbon matrix. All dummy coated fuel particles were held in specimen after 10 h oxidation.

Journal Articles

Introduction and implementation of physical protection measures including trustworthiness program at Tokai Reprocessing Facilities

Nakamura, Hironobu; Kimura, Takashi; Yamazaki, Katsuyuki; Kitao, Takahiko; Tasaki, Takashi; Iida, Toru

Proceedings of International Conference on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities (Internet), 9 Pages, 2018/09

After the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, to develop effective security measures based on the lesson learned from such crisis and to meet the IAEA Nuclear Security Recommendations (INFCIRC/225/Rev.5), NRA in Japan made a partial amendment of the regulations concerning the reprocessing activity in 2012. The Tokai reprocessing facility implemented all of those security measures by the end of March 2014. Those new measures help us to keep high degree of security level and contributed to our planned operations to reduce the potential risk of the plant. On the other hand, the trustworthiness program was newly introduced in 2016, based on the trustworthiness policy determined by NRA. The implementing entity of the program is JAEA for the Tokai Reprocessing Facility and is required for both the persons afford unescorted access to Category I and II, CAS/SAS, and the persons afford access to the sensitive information. Those who are involved this program will be judged before engaging the work whether they might act as insider to cause or assist radiological sabotage or unauthorized removal of nuclear material, or leak sensitive information. The program is expected as a measure against insider at reprocessing facilities, and is expected to be enforced around the autumn of 2017. As well as the establishment of security measures, the promoting nuclear security culture for all employees was a big challenge. The Tokai reprocessing facility have introduced several security culture activities, such as case study education of security events done by a small group and putting up the security culture poster and so on. This paper presents introduction and implementation with effectiveness of security measures in the Tokai reprocessing facilities and the future security measures applied to the reprocessing facilities are discussed.

Journal Articles

Evaluation of heat removal during the failure of the core cooling for new critical assembly

Eguchi, Yuta; Sugawara, Takanori; Nishihara, Kenji; Tazawa, Yujiro; Tsujimoto, Kazufumi

Proceedings of 26th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE-26) (Internet), 8 Pages, 2018/07

In order to investigate the basic neutronics characteristics of the accelerator-driven subcritical system (ADS), JAEA has a plan to construct a new critical assembly in the J-PARC project, Transmutation Physics Experimental Facility (TEF-P). This study aims to evaluate the natural cooling characteristics of TEF-P core which has large decay heat by minor actinide (MA) fuel, and to achieve a design that does not damage the core and the fuels during the failure of the core cooling system. In the evaluation of the TEF-P core temperature, empty rectangular lattice tube outer of the core has a significant effect on the heat transfer characteristics. The experiments by using the mockup device were performed to validate the heat transfer coefficient and experimental results were obtained. By using the obtained experimental results, the three-dimensional heat transfer analysis of TEF-P core were performed, and the maximum core temperature was obtained, 294$$^{circ}$$C. This result shows TEF-P core temperature would be less than 327$$^{circ}$$C that the design criterion of temperature.

Journal Articles

J-PARC Transmutation Experimental Facility Program

Maekawa, Fujio; Transmutation Expeimental Facility Design Team

Plasma and Fusion Research (Internet), 13(Sp.1), p.2505045_1 - 2505045_4, 2018/05

The partitioning and transmutation (P-T) technology has promising potential for volume reduction and mitigation of degree of harmfulness of high-level radioactive waste. JAEA is promoting development of the P-T technology by using an accelerator driven system (ADS). To facilitate the development, we have a plan to construct the Transmutation Experimental Facility (TEF) as one of experimental facilities of J-PARC (Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex). TEF consists of two facilities: the ADS Target Test Facility (TEF-T) and the Transmutation Physics Experimental Facility (TEF-P). Recent progress in design and R&D efforts toward construction of J-PARC TEF will be presented.

JAEA Reports

Records of physico-chemical parameters by geochemical monitoring system in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory

Mezawa, Tetsuya; Mochizuki, Akihito; Miyakawa, Kazuya; Sasamoto, Hiroshi

JAEA-Data/Code 2018-001, 55 Pages, 2018/03


Japan Atomic Energy Agency has been conducting "geoscientific study" and "research and development on geological disposal" in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL) for safe geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Geochemical parameters of groundwater pressure, pH, and oxidation-reduction potential in the deep groundwater has been continuously monitored with monitoring systems which were developed in the Horonobe URL Project. This report presents the physico-chemical parameters of groundwater which have been obtained by the monitoring systems installed at the 140 m, 250 m and 350 m gallery. The data obtained until March 31, 2017 was summarized along with related information such as the specifications of boreholes and the excavation of the URL.

Journal Articles

Overall approaches and experiences of first-time participants in the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group's Fourth Collaborative Material Exercise (CMX-4)

Ho, D. M. L.*; Nelwamondo, A. N.*; Okubo, Ayako; Rameb$"a$ck, H.*; Song, K.*; Han, S.-H.*; Hancke, J. J.*; Holmgren, S.*; Jonsson. S.*; Kataoka, Osamu; et al.

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 315(2), p.353 - 363, 2018/02

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:100(Chemistry, Analytical)

The Fourth Collaborative Material Exercise (CMX-4) of the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) registered the largest participation for this exercise in nuclear forensics, with seven of the 17 laboratories participating for the first time. In this paper, participants from five of the first-time laboratories shared their individual experience in this exercise, from preparation to analysis of samples. The exercise proved to be highly useful for testing procedures, repurposing established methods, exercising skills, and improving the understanding of nuclear forensic signatures and their interpretation trough the post-exercise review meeting.

Journal Articles

The Application of radiochronometry during the 4th collaborative materials exercise of the nuclear forensics international technical working group (ITWG)

Kristo, M. J.*; Williams, R.*; Gaffney, A. M.*; Kayzar-Boggs, T. M.*; Schorzman, K. C.*; Lagerkvist, P.*; Vesterlund, A.*; Rameb$"a$ck, H.*; Nelwamondo, A. N.*; Kotze, D.*; et al.

Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 315(2), p.425 - 434, 2018/02

 Times Cited Count:2 Percentile:67.8(Chemistry, Analytical)

In a recent international exercise, 10 international nuclear forensics laboratories successfully performed radiochronometry on three low enriched uranium oxide samples, providing 12 analytical results using three different parent-daughter pairs serving as independent chronometers. The vast majority of the results were consistent with one another and consistent with the known processing history of the materials. In general, for these particular samples, mass spectrometry gave more accurate and more precise analytical results than decay counting measurements. In addition, the concordance of the $$^{235}$$U-$$^{231}$$Pa and $$^{234}$$U-$$^{230}$$Th chronometers confirmed the validity of the age dating assumptions, increasing confidence in the resulting conclusions.

Journal Articles

Development of unstructured mesh-based numerical method for sodium-water reaction phenomenon in steam generators of sodium-cooled fast reactors

Uchibori, Akihiro; Watanabe, Akira*; Takata, Takashi; Ohshima, Hiroyuki

Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 54(10), p.1036 - 1045, 2017/10

 Times Cited Count:2 Percentile:58.53(Nuclear Science & Technology)

To evaluate a sodium-water reaction phenomenon in a steam generator of sodium-cooled fast reactors, a computational fluid dynamics code SERAPHIM, in which a compressible multicomponent multiphase flow with sodium-water chemical reaction is computed, has been developed. The original SERAPHIM code is based on the difference method. In this study, unstructured mesh-based numerical method was developed to advance a numerical accuracy for the complex-shaped domain including multiple heat transfer tubes. Numerical analysis of an underexpanded jet experiment was performed as part of validation of the unstructured mesh-based numerical method. The calculated pressure profile showed good agreement with the experimental data. Applicability of the numerical method for the actual situation was confirmed through the analysis of water vapor discharging into liquid sodium. The effect of use of the unstructured mesh was also investigated by the two analyses using structured and unstructured mesh.

Journal Articles

Fuel behavior analysis for accident tolerant fuel with sic cladding using adapted FEMAXI-7 code

Shirasu, Noriko; Saito, Hiroaki; Yamashita, Shinichiro; Nagase, Fumihisa

Proceedings of 2017 Water Reactor Fuel Performance Meeting (WRFPM 2017) (USB Flash Drive), 8 Pages, 2017/09

Silicon carbide (SiC) is an attractive candidate of accident tolerant fuel (ATF) cladding material because of its high chemical stability, high radiation resistance and low neutron absorption. FEMAXI-ATF has been developed to analysis SiC cladding fuel behaviors. The thermal, mechanical and irradiation property models were implemented to FEMAXI-7, which is a fuel behavior analysis code being developed in JAEA. Fuel rod behavior analysis was performed under typical boiling water reactor (BWR) operating conditions with a model based on a 9$$times$$9 BWR fuel (Step III Type B), in which the cladding material was replaced from Zircaloy to SiC. The SiC cladding shows large swelling by irradiation. It increases the gap size and decreases cladding thermal conductivity. The mechanism of relaxation of stress is also different from the Zircaloy cladding. The experimental data for SiC materials are still insufficient to construct the models, especially for evaluating fracture behavior.

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