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Inspection of a LOCA Test Rod at the Halden Reactor Project using Gamma Emission Tomography
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7370-6539
OECD Halden Reactor Project.
OECD Halden Reactor Project.
2016 (English)In: Top Fuel 2016 - LWR Fuels with Enhanced Safety and Performance, American Nuclear Society, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The LOCA test series IFA-650 conducted at the OECD Halden Reactor Project (HRP) has provided unique data on the performance of fuel rods during LOCA transients. One focus of the current investigations is the performance of the fuel in the ballooning stage of the LOCA transient. In this stage, relocation of fuel material is a possibility, in which case pellet fragments fall down to fill the void introduced by the increased volume of the ballooned cladding. This increases the heat load in that region, further promoting corrosion of the cladding. A special concern in the case of high-burnup fuels is the increasing number of small fuel fragments, which may be expected to cause a higher packing fraction in the ballooned region. 

 

In this work, a novel technique is presented for assessing the average density of the fuel material in the ballooned region of LOCA test rods. The investigation is based on non-destructive gamma emission tomography measurements, using the dedicated instrument recently developed at the HRP in collaboration with Westinghouse (Sweden) and Uppsala University. In this approach, the gamma radiation field surrounding the test rod has been measured with a narrowly collimated HPGe detector. Tomographic reconstruction of the data was performed, providing the radial gamma-ray source distribution within the measured volume, which reveals the fuel fragment distribution. From this, the density of the fuel in the measured volume (i.e., the packing fraction) may be calculated.

 

The technique has been used to investigate a LOCA test rod of the Halden Reactor Project LOCA series. The LOCA experiment was carried out about one month prior to the gamma tomography examination. The results show that the distribution of the relocated fuel can be imaged using gamma rays from fission products. The reconstructions of the 662 keV rays from 137Cs and 1596 keV from 140Ba/La are demonstrated. In addition, the peaks of activation products offer valuable information on the location of the test rig structures, which may be utilized in a quantitative tomographic reconstruction to assess the spatially resolved packing fraction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Nuclear Society, 2016.
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-303810ISBN: 978-0-89448-734-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-303810DiVA: diva2:974111
Conference
Top Fuel (Light Water Reactor Fuel Performance Meeting) September 11-16, 2016 BOISE, IDAHO, USA
Available from: 2016-09-23 Created: 2016-09-23 Last updated: 2017-08-22Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Peter

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