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Experimental Study of Narrow Pulse Effects on the Behavior of High Burnup Fuel Rods with Zr-1%Nb Cladding and UO 2 Fuel (VVER Type) under Reactivity-Initiated Accident Conditions: Program Approach and Analysis of Results (NUREG/IA-0213, Volume 1, IRSN/DPAM 2005-275, NSI RRC KI-3230)

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Publication Information

Date Published: May 2006

Prepared by:
L. Yegorova, K. Lioutov, N. Jouravkova
Nuclear Safety Institute of Russian Research Centre, "Kurchatov Institute"
Kurchatov Square 1
Moscow 123182, Russian Federation

O. Nechaeva, A. Salatov
A.A. Bochvar All-Russian Research Institute of Inorganic Materials
Rogov Street 5
Moscow 123182, Russian Federation

V. Smirnov, A. Goryachev
State Research Centre, "Research Institute of Atomic Reactors"
Dimitrovgrad 433510, Russian Federation

V. Ustinenko, I. Smirnov
Russian Federal Nuclear Centre, "All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics"
Sarov 607200, Russian Federation

Prepared for:
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (United States)
Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (France)
Joint Stock Company "TVEL" (Russian Federation)

Published by:
Division of Systems Analysis and Regulatory Effectiveness
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

Twelve pulse tests of fuel rods with UO2 high burnup fuel and Zr-1%Nb cladding were performed in the Russian research reactor, BIGR. Fuel rods were refabricated from Russian VVER pressurized water reactor commercial fuel elements with burnups of 47–49 MWd/kg U and 60 MWd/kg U. The reactor pulse tests were carried out to validate the behavior of high burnup fuel rods under reactivity-initiated-accident conditions. This experimental program, compared to previous investigations, was focused on the determining the sensitivity of the failure mechanisms and the failure thresholds of high burnup fuel to such effects as the narrow pulse (2.5–3.1 ms), ductile Zr-1%Nb cladding, fuel burnup with relatively small rim layer effects (47–49 MWd/kg U) and with relatively significant ones (60 MWd/kg U).

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