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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry: 20th International Symposium
Editor
Suresh K. Yagnik
Suresh K. Yagnik
Symposium Chairperson and STP Editor
1
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
,
Palo Alto, CA,
US
Search for other works by this author on:
Michael Preuss
Michael Preuss
Symposium Chair and STP Editor
2
The University of Manchester Manchester
,
GB
;
Monash University
,
Clayton/Melbourne,
AU
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN:
978-0-8031-7737-6
No. of Pages:
928
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
2023

There is a class of engineering products with a degree of reliability that must remain high not only throughout a long service life (for fuel assemblies of 4–6 years of operation in cores of nuclear reactors) but also in subsequently longer storage (50–100 years). Such products include spent nuclear fuel (SNF) rod claddings. A feature of the condition of SNF rod claddings is the presence of degradation factors accumulated during operation, including hydrogen. Phenomena associated with the presence of hydrogen in SNF rod claddings include the reorientation of hydrides and hydrogen embrittlement. This article presents the results of research into the hydride reorientation in unirradiated prehydrogenated (50–400 ppm) fuel rod dummies manufactured of Zr-1% Nb alloy and filled with helium under pressure (P293 = 3, 4, and 5 MPa) at room temperature. Tests were performed in modes that simulate SNF reloading with maximum heating to 410°C (VVER-440) and 450°C (VVER-1000), an exposure time of 8 h, as well as reloadings and accidents with thermal cycling up to seven times in modes 410, 450↔300°C and 410, 450↔180°C. The influence of testing modes was studied in relation to (i) the mechanical properties of fuel rod dummy claddings, (ii) the resistance of claddings to low-cycle fatigue, (iii) the creep resistance of claddings under pressure and by the stress-relaxation method of deformed samples in the longitudinal direction, and (iv) the morphology of hydrides by metallography. All tests were performed on a uniform panel of samples with numerous thermal conditions and are necessary to substantiate the safety at all stages of SNF handling.

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