Thermal Predictions of the AGR-3/4 Experiment with PIE Measured Time Varying Gas Gaps

[+] Author and Article Information
Grant L. Hawkes

Idaho National Laboratory 2525 Fremont, MS 3870, Idaho Falls, ID 83415

James W. Sterbentz

Idaho National Laboratory 2525 Fremont, MS 3870, Idaho Falls, ID 83415

John Maki

Idaho National Laboratory 2525 Fremont, MS 3870, Idaho Falls, ID 83415

Binh Pham

Idaho National Laboratory 2525 Fremont, MS 3818, Idaho Falls, ID 83415

1Corresponding author.

ASME 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. 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 Next-Generation Nuclear Plant 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) TRISO fueled compacts were inserted into twelve 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 data. PIE-measured experimental data was used for the graphite shrinkage versus fast neutron fluence. PIE dimensional measurements were taken on all of the fuel compacts, graphite holders, and all of the graphite rings. Heat rates were input from a detailed physics analysis for each day during the experiment. Individual heat rates for each non-fuel 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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