Transient Behavior of Low Enriched Uranium Silicide Miniplate Fuel under a Triplet Configuration

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This paper describes the results of a transient experiment using low enriched (<20wt% <SUP>235</SUP>U) uranium silicide research reactor miniplate fuel. Three silicide miniplate fuel specimens assembled in a triplet configuration with a water gap of 2.38mm were pulsed in the Nuclear Safety Research Reactor (NSRR) with an energy deposition of 78cal/g•fuel. <BR>The results obtained in this study are summarized as follows: <BR>(1) Under a restricted condition of coolant cross flow, the mid-plate in the triplet configuration (pulsed at 78cal/g•fuel) showed an extremely high peak cladding surface temperature (PCST), 475°C, which was higher than that of the other two plates (173 and 192°C). The temperature of coolant in the water gap increased rapidly to 140°C while that at the non-gap locations increased to about 50°C. Despite the poor cooling conditions, especially at the mid-plate, the three silicide miniplate fuels did not fail mechanically. Owing to the comparatively slow quenching rate from PCST and/or the small magnitude of the temperature drop during quenching, the fuels might not be subjected to the local tensile stress necessary to cause through-plate cracking. <BR>(2) The bowing of the miniplate fuel caused the 2.38mm water channel gap to be narrowed to 48% of its maximum. The uneven coolant temperature profiles in the water gaps between the miniplates might be a cause for the bowing.


  • Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology  

    Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology 32(10), 981-988, 1995-10-25 

    Atomic Energy Society of Japan

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