Research Papers: Materials and Fabrication

Pellet-Cladding Interaction Probability Assessment Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Dmitry V. Paramonov

 Westinghouse Electric Company, Cranberry, PA 16066

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 134(1), 011401 (Dec 01, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004624 History: Received January 21, 2011; Revised May 04, 2011; Published December 01, 2011; Online December 01, 2011

The main objective of the reported study was developing a method for predicting pellet-cladding interaction (PCI) failure probability in pressurized water reactor (PWR) fuel in transient conditions that would strike a balance between simplicity and accuracy, allows for straightforward implementation within a transient analysis methodology or core monitoring system, and include treatment of the most important PCI factors. The developed best estimate method relies on readily calculated/available quantities, such as nodal burn-up, local power, average cladding temperature, and pressure differential across cladding at zero burnup, uses a power increase past gap closure as a failure criterion. The method allows for calculating failure probability for a given rate of power change or establishing a rate of power change corresponding to a certain failure probability. It also provides for accuracy comparable to a fuel performance code when calculating PCI failure probability in ramp tests and offers a way to infer a safe PCI threshold from ramp test data.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Holding time of the analyzed ramp tests

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Figure 2

Performance of the criterion given by Eq. 5

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Figure 3

Adjusted power increase versus burnup. Triangles are failures, circles are survivors. Symbol size proportional to Q0 .

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Figure 4

Fitting CDF given by Eq. 7 with LSQ method

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Figure 5

Fitting using life analogy and MLE method

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Figure 6

Fitting CDF given by Eq. 8 with LSQ method

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Figure 7

Fitting of CDFs for STAV and the simple model under assumption that the safe threshold does not exist

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Figure 8

Fitting of CDFs for STAV and the simple model assuming existence of a safe threshold




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