Determination of the Rod-wise Fission Gas Release Fraction in a Complete Fuel Assembly Using Non-destructive Gamma Emission Tomography
2016 (English)In: Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, ISSN 0168-9002, E-ISSN 1872-9576, Vol. 837, 99-108 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A gamma tomography instrument has been developed at the Halden Boiling Water Reactor (HBWR) in cooperation between the Institute for Energy Technology, Westinghouse (Sweden) and Uppsala University. The instrument is used to record the gamma radiation field surrounding complete fuel assemblies and consists of a shielded enclosure with fixtures to accurately position the fuel and detector relative to each other. A High Purity Germanium detector is used for acquiring high-resolution spectroscopic data, allowing for analysis of multiple gamma-ray peaks. Using the data extracted from the selected peaks, tomographic reconstruction algorithms are used to reproduce the corresponding spatial gamma-ray source distributions within the fuel assembly. With this method, rod-wise data can be can be deduced without the need to dismantle the fuel.
In this work, the tomographic device has been experimentally benchmarked for non-destructive rod-wise determination of the Fission Gas Release (FGR) fraction. Measurements were performed on the fuel-stack and gas-plenum regions of a complete fuel assembly, and quantitative tomographic reconstructions of the measurement data were performed in order to determine the rod-wise ratio of 85Kr in the gas plenum to 137Cs in the fuel stack. The rod-wise ratio of 85Kr/137Cs was, in turn, used to calculate the rod-wise FGR fraction. In connection to the tomographic measurements, the fuel rods were also measured individually using gamma scanning in order to provide an experimental benchmark for the tomographic method.
Fuel rods from two donor driver fuel assemblies were placed into a nine-rod HBWR driver fuel assembly configuration. In order to provide a challenging measurement object and thus an appropriate benchmark for the tomographic method, five rods were taken from an assembly with a burnup of 51 MWd/kgUO2, and four rods were from an assembly with a burnup of 26 MWd/kgUO2. At the time of the measurements, the nine rods had cooled for approximately 22 years. All fuel rods had operated at high linear heat rates (around 70 kW/m), thus leading to relatively high FGR fractions. Here, the FGR fraction was determined to be ~24% in the high-burnup rods, and ~17% in the low-burnup rods. The tomography measurement results were in good agreement with the results from individual rod scanning, demonstrating the feasibility of tomography for this application. The capability of tomography to assess individual fuel rods without the need to dismantle the assembly can be particularly valuable in cases of fuels that do not allow disassembly, such as experimental HBWR fuel fitted with extensive instrumentation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 837, 99-108 p.
Physical Sciences Other Physics Topics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-302519DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2016.08.061OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-302519DiVA: diva2:957949