Thermo-mechanical Safety Analyses of Preliminary Design Experiments for 238Pu Production

[+] Author and Article Information
Christopher J. Hurt

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Research Reactors Division, P. O. Box 2008 MS6392, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6392

James D. Freels

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Research Reactors Division, Retired, P. O. Box 2008 MS6392, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6392

Prashant K. Jain

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division, P. O. Box 2008 MS6167, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6167

Guillermo Maldonado

University of Tennessee, Department of Nuclear Engineering, 429 Engineering & Sciences Annex, 1412 Circle Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996-2300

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041269 History: Received July 11, 2016; Revised August 17, 2018


Safety analyses at the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) are required to qualify experiment targets for the production of plutonium-238 (238Pu) from neptunium dioxide/aluminum cermet (NpO2/Al) pellets. High heat generation rates due to fissile material and low melting temperatures require a sophisticated set of steady-state thermal simulations in order to ensure sufficient safety margins. These simulations are achieved in a fully coupled thermo-mechanical analysis using COMSOL Multiphysics for four different preliminary target designs using an evolving set of pre- and post-irradiation data inputs from the unique pellet and target designs

Section 4: U.S. Gov Employees + Reg Authors
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