Fuel and fission product behaviour in early phases of a severe accident. Part II: Interpretation of the experimental results of the PHEBUS FPT2 test

Roland Dubourg, Marc Barrachin, Roland Ducher, Didier Gavillet, Anne De Bremaecker

    Research outputpeer-review


    One objective of the FPT2 test of the PHEBUS FP Program was to study the degradation of an irradiated UO2 fuel bundle and the fission product behaviour under conditions of low steam flow. The results of the post-irradiation examinations (PIE) at the upper levels (823 mm and 900 mm) of the test section previously reported are interpreted in the present paper. Solid state interactions between fuel and cladding have been compared with the characteristics of interaction identified in the previous separate-effect tests. Corium resulting from the interaction between fuel and cladding was formed. The uranium concentration in the corium is compared to analytical tests and a scenario for the corium formation is proposed. The analysis showed that, despite the rather low fuel burn up, the conditions of temperature and oxygen potential reached during the starvation phase are able to give an early very significant release fraction of caesium. A significant part (but not all) of the molybdenum was segregated at grain boundaries and trapped in metallic inclusions from which they were totally removed in the final part of the experiment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-374
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Issue number1-3
    StatePublished - 16 Jun 2014

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