Neutron radiography and tomography applied to fuel degradation during ramp tests and loss of coolant accident tests in a research reactor

H. Jenssen, B.C. Oberländer, J.D. Beenhouwer, J. Sijbers, Marc Verwerft

    Research outputpeer-review


    Neutron radiography (NR) is performed at the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) in Norway since the late 1970s. The application of the non-destructive method was to acquire post-irradiation examination (PIE) data (e.g. fuel integrity and hydrogen up-take in cladding) from safety and integrity tests of nuclear fuels performed under the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Halden Reactor Project (HRP). The method was later applied under re-fabrication and instrumentation operations of experimental nuclear fuel rods prior to testing in Halden BoilingWater Reactor (HBWR), and for a variety of PIE projects, e.g. reactor power ramp testing, PCI failure detection and fuel degradation experiments. Neutron radiography has also proved to be a very useful tool for examination of nuclear fuels irradiated in the Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) experimental series initiated in the early 2000s. Neutron tomography data is acquired while an increased international focus arose on fuel fragmentation, fuel relocation and fuel dispersal processes that occur during the LOCA events for high burn-up nuclear fuels. Hydrogen up-take of the fuel cladding, fuel pellet-clad bonding condition, fuel fragmentation, particle size distributions, and other features obtained from neutron tomography data are quite relevant for reactor core safety impact study of LOCA events.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-62
    JournalProgress in Nuclear Energy
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2014

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