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Bauman Moscow State Technical University.   El № FS 77 - 48211.   ISSN 1994-0408

Development of Mechanical Loading Device for Testing the Zirconium Cladding Under the Pellet-Cladding Interaction Conditions

# 06, June 2014
DOI: 10.7463/0614.0715393
Article file: Solonin_V.pdf (739.60Kb)
authors: V.I. Solonin, A.S. Sotnikov, I.V. Sergienko

Currently, there is a tendency of transition to the long-term cycles of operation with fuel and to the new transitional modes.  This fact requires extra experimental validation for design of fuel rods. New operating conditions are expanding operability requirements of claddings.
To implement the experimental techniques the Mechanical Loading Device (MLD) was developed, capable of providing the conditions of stress-strain state similar to the pellet-cladding interaction (PCI) during operation of the reactor.
Complex strain state of a fuel rod cladding is simulated by the impacting force on the plunger and then on the simulator of the fuel pellet. The simulator is made of interposer of zirconium and the inset made of ceramic - aluminum oxide. Mechanical properties of the aluminum oxide are similar to the material of the fuel pellet - uranium dioxide. Experiments conducted on the layout and the MLD as such have shown that a stress-strain state matches with that of under operating conditions of the fuel rod in the reactor.
The developed device and test method allows us to simulate a wide range of reactor transient modes. Claddings can be used both in the delivered state, and with the further preparation, including the exposure in nuclear reactor. MLD design enables us to carry out experiments with the presence of an aggressive environment inside the cladding, simulating the presence of gaseous fission products in the fuel rod.
For further the development of this research it is necessary to design the laboratory complex for MLD. Extra computational verification experiment is needed as well. In particular, stresses in the cladding achieved during the experiment ought to be calculated.  Calculated stresses are required to make project justification on the performance capability of fuel rods.

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