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Research Papers

Thermal Predictions of the AGR-3/4 Experiment With Post Irradiation Examination Measured 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

Binh T. Pham

Idaho National Laboratory,
2525 Fremont, MS 3818,
Idaho Falls, ID 83415
e-mail: Binh.Pham@inl.gov

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 2, 2017; final manuscript received June 13, 2017; published online July 31, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Leon Cizelj.The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 3(4), 041007 (Jul 31, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: NERS-17-1008; doi: 10.1115/1.4037095 History: Received February 02, 2017; Revised June 13, 2017

A thermal analysis was performed for the advanced gas reactor test experiment (AGR-3/4) with post irradiation examination (PIE) measured time (fast neutron fluence) 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, which supports the development of the very high-temperature gas-cooled reactor under the advanced reactor technologies project. The AGR-3/4 test was designed primarily to assess fission product transport through various graphite materials. Irradiation in the ATR started in December 2011 and finished in April 2014. Forty-eight (48) tristructural-isotropic-fueled compacts were inserted into 12 separate capsules for the experiment. The purpose of this analysis was to calculate the temperatures of each compact and graphite layer to obtain daily average temperatures using PIE-measured time (fast neutron fluence) varying gas gaps and compare with experimentally measured thermocouple (TC) data. PIE-measured experimental data were used for the graphite shrinkage versus fast neutron fluence. PIE dimensional measurements were taken on all the fuel compacts, graphite holders, and all of the graphite rings used. Heat rates were input from a detailed physics analysis for each day during the experiment. Individual heat rates for each nonfuel component were input as well. A steady-state thermal analysis was performed for each daily calculation. A finite element model was created for each capsule.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

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

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Fig. 2

Axial view of two AGR-3/4 capsules

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Fig. 3

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

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Fig. 4

Three-dimensional cutaway rendering of single AGR-3/4 capsule

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Fig. 5

Cutaway view of finite element mesh of AGR-3/4 capsule

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Fig. 6

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

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Fig. 7

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

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Fig. 8

Graphite thermal conductivity plot of ratio of irradiated over unirradiated (kirr/ko) varying with temperature and dpa

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Fig. 9

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

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Fig. 10

Compact diameter change versus fluence from PIE measurements

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Fig. 11

Matrix ring inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD) change versus fluence from PIE measurements

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Fig. 12

Graphite ring ID and OD change versus fluence from PIE measurements

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Fig. 13

Sink ID and OD change versus fluence from PIE measurements

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Fig. 14

Coefficient of thermal expansion multiplier

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Fig. 15

Cutaway view temperature contours (°C) of capsule 12

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Fig. 16

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

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Fig. 17

Capsule 4 TC temperatures, ΔT of measured minus calculated, (compact, matrix, and ring) temperature history plots varying with effective full-power days

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Fig. 18

Capsule 4 calculated time-average minimum, time-average maximum, and time-average volume-average temperatures for fuel compacts (top panel), matrix ring (second panel), graphite ring (third panel), and graphite sink (fourth panel)

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Fig. 19

Description of cutaway view used in contour plots

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Fig. 20

Single day closest to cycle-average temperature contour plots of compacts, matrix, and ring cutaway view for capsule 4 for all the ATR cycles

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