Thermal and mechanical behavior of sphere pac fuel Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ns0649599

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  • The use of advanced concepts can make the nuclear fuel cycle more efficient by allowing pins to be operated at high powers and to higher burnups. Among the more promising concepts in advanced fuels is sphere pac fuel. In a first attempt to bring together models describing individual phenomena, the computer code SPECKLE-I was written. In this thesis, the results obtained from modified and refined versions of this code are compared with data obtained from examinations of irradiated sphere pac fuel pins, and predictions for future irradiations are discussed. The values for fractional gas release and free gas pressure and the location of the sintering boundary obtained from SPECKLE-I calculations are compared with values derived from the destructive examination of mixed carbide sphere pac fuel pins. SPECKLE-I seems to underestimate the amount of fission gas release and the extent of restructuring that occurred in these pins. The code was modified to include the effects of fission gas release due to recoil from the fission event. While a large effect can be seen for significant release rates, it has been seen from low burnup experiments that the release rate due to this mechanism is very small. In another set of calculations, the sintering rates due to surface diffusion and volume diffusion were added directly to the sintering rate due to grain boundary diffusion. The differences in the results for higher power irradiations between the single sintering mechanism case and the cumulative sintering mechanism case were small. They were more pronounced for lower power and lower temperature experiments. SPECKLE-I was modified to model the behavior of a sphere pac fuel pin during an initial startup sequence. A series of calculations were performed to analyze the power-to-melt ratio of several initial startup sequences. The results of this work indicated that the peak pin temperatures could be manipulated to meet specified safety criteria by tailoring the startup sequence. The effect on the calculations of the use of a new correlation for the thermal conductivity of a partially restructured particle bed was also examined. The results of a set of experiments to determine the axial shear force neccessary to overcome the shear forces exerted on a simulated clad tube are presented. A binary mixture was used in the experiment. There seemed to be a relation between the force exerted by the bed on the clad and the number of contact points between the bed and the clad.
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