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Research Papers

Thermal Predictions of the AGR-3/4 Experiment With Time-Varying Gas Gaps

[+] Author and Article Information
Grant L. Hawkes

Idaho National Laboratory,
2525 Fremont, MS 3870, Idaho Falls, ID 83415
e-mail: Grant.Hawkes@inl.gov

James W. Sterbentz

Idaho National Laboratory,
2525 Fremont, MS 3870, Idaho Falls, ID 83415
e-mail: James.Sterbentz@inl.gov

John T. Maki

Idaho National Laboratory,
2525 Fremont, MS 3870, Idaho Falls, ID 83415
e-mail: John.Maki@inl.gov

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received January 14, 2015; final manuscript received March 10, 2015; published online September 3, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Jovica R. Riznic.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 1(4), 041012 (Sep 03, 2015) (9 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1006; doi: 10.1115/1.4030046 History: Received January 14, 2015; Accepted March 12, 2015; Online September 16, 2015

A thermal analysis was performed for the Advanced Gas Reactor test experiment (AGR-3/4) with time-varying gas gaps. The experiment was irradiated at the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Several fuel irradiation experiments are planned for the AGR Fuel Development and Qualification Program that supports the development of the Very-High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (VHTR) under the Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project. AGR-3/4 combines two tests in a series of planned AGR experiments to test tristructural-isotropic (TRISO)-coated, low-enriched uranium oxy-carbide fuel. Forty-eight TRISO-fueled compacts were inserted into 12 separate capsules for the experiment (four compacts per capsule). The purpose of this analysis was to calculate the temperatures of each compact and graphite layer to obtain daily average temperatures using time (fast neutron fluence)-varying gas gaps and to compare with experimentally measured thermocouple data. A finite-element heat transfer model was created for each capsule using the commercial code ABAQUS. Model results are compared to thermocouple data taken during the experiment.

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References

Hawkes, G. L., Sterbentz, J. W., Maki, J. T., and Pham, B. T., 2012, “Daily Thermal Predictions of the AGR-1 Experiment With Gas Gaps Varying With Time,” ICAPP 2012 Conference, Chicago, IL, Jun. 2012, Paper No. 12111.
Hawkes, G. L., Sterbentz, J. W., and Pham, B. T., 2015, “Thermal Predictions of the AGR-2 Experiment With Variable Gas Gaps,” Nucl. Technol., 190(3), 10.1382/NT14-73.
Dassault SystŁmes, 2012, ABAQUS Version 6.11-1, www.simulia.com or www.abaqus.com, Providence, RI.
Sterbentz, J. W., Hawkes, G. L., Maki, J. T., and Petti, D. A., 2010, “Monte Carlo Depletion Calculation for the AGR-1 TRISO Particle Irradiation Test,” ANS Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, Jun. 2010, Paper No. 1308.
Gontard, R., and Nabielek, H., 1990, “Performance Evaluation of Modern HTR TRISO Fuels,” Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Germany, , July 31.
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Windes, W., 2012, “Data Report on Post-Irradiation Dimensional Change in AGC-1 Samples,” Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID, .
Snead, L. L., and Burchell, T. D., 1995, “Reduction in Thermal Conductivity Due to Neutron Irradiation,” Proceedings of the 22nd Biennial Conference on Carbon, Extended Abstracts, The American Carbon Society, pp. 774–775.
Sterbentz, J. W., 2009, “Fast Flux to DPA Multiplier,” E-mail communication to G. L. Hawkes, Aug. 5.
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Figures

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Fig. 8

Helium–neon gas thermal conductivity versus temperature and mole fraction helium

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Fig. 7

Graphite thermal conductivity plot of ratio of irradiated over unirradiated varying with temperature and dpa

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Fig. 6

Three-dimensional plot of AGR-3/4 matrix thermal conductivity (W/m K) varying with fluence and temperature

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Fig. 5

Three-dimensional plot of AGR-3/4 fuel compact thermal conductivity (W/m K) varying with fluence and temperature

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Fig. 4

Cutaway view of capsule and finite-element mesh with colored entities

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Fig. 3

Cross-sectioned view of an AGR-3/4 capsule

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Fig. 2

ATR core cross section showing the north-east flux trap position containing the AGR-3/4 experiment

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Fig. 1

ATR core cross section showing the north-east flux trap position containing the AGR-3/4 experiment

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Fig. 17

Temperature difference (°C) across all four gaps varying with fluence and neon fraction to maintain constant peak fuel temperature

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Fig. 9

AGR-1 compact dimensional change varying with fast neutron fluence

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Fig. 10

Matrix shrinkage varying with fast neutron fluence and temperature

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Fig. 11

Volumetric change versus fast neutron fluence for PCEA and IG-110 graphite irradiated in the AGC-1 experiment

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Fig. 12

Cutaway view temperature contours (°C) of capsule 12

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Fig. 13

Temperature contours (°C) of (a) compacts, (b) matrix, (c) graphite sleeve, and (d) graphite sink

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Fig. 14

Capsule 2 temperature (°C) history plot of actual TC measurements (panel 1) and difference between TCs and simulations (panel 2) for six ATR cycles

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Fig. 15

Radial temperature (°C) profile for constant heat rate and constant neon fraction varying with fluence (not realistic)

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Fig. 16

Radial temperature (°C) profile for constant heat rate and constant peak centerline temperature varying with fluence

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Fig. 18

Neon fraction versus fluence for constant heat rate and peak centerline temperature

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