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Mission and Status of the First Two Next Generation Nuclear Plant Fuel Irradiation Experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor

[+] Author Affiliations
S. Blaine Grover, David A. Petti, John T. Maki

Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

Paper No. ICONE18-30139, pp. 311-320; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/ICONE18-30139
From:
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering: Volume 6
  • Xi’an, China, May 17–21, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4934-7
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME

abstract

The United States Department of Energy’s Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Advanced Gas Reactor (AGR) Fuel Development and Qualification Program will be irradiating up to nine low enriched uranium (LEU) tri-isotopic (TRISO) particle fuel (in compact form) experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). The ATR has a long history of irradiation testing in support of reactor development and the INL has been designated as the United States Department of Energy’s lead laboratory for nuclear energy development. These irradiations and fuel development are being accomplished to support development of the next generation reactors in the United States, and the irradiations will be completed over the next five to six years to support demonstration and qualification of new TRISO coated particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors. The goals of the irradiation experiments are to provide irradiation performance data to support fuel process development, to qualify fuel for normal operating conditions, to support development and validation of fuel performance and fission product transport models and codes, and to provide irradiated fuel and materials for post irradiation examination (PIE) and safety testing. The experiments, which will each consist of multiple separate capsules, will be irradiated in an inert sweep gas atmosphere with individual on-line temperature monitoring and control of each capsule. The sweep gas will also have on-line fission product monitoring on its effluent to track performance of the fuel in each individual capsule during irradiation. The first experiment (designated AGR-1) started irradiation in December 2006 and completed a very successful irradiation in early November 2009. The second experiment (AGR-2) is currently being fabricated and assembled for insertion in the ATR in the early to mid calendar 2010. The design of test trains, the support systems and the fission product monitoring system used to monitor and control the experiment during irradiation will be discussed. In addition, the purpose and differences between the first two experiments will be compared, and updated information on the design and status of AGR-2 is provided. The preliminary irradiation results for the AGR-1 experiment are also presented.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME

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