Safety analyses at the high flux isotope reactor (HFIR) are required to qualify experiment targets for the production of plutonium-238 (238Pu) from neptunium dioxide/aluminum cermet (NpO2/Al) pellets. High heat generation rates (HGRs) due to fissile material and low melting temperatures require a sophisticated set of steady-state thermal simulations in order to ensure sufficient safety margins. These simulations are achieved in a fully coupled thermo-mechanical analysis using comsolmultiphysics for four different preliminary target designs using an evolving set of pre- and postirradiation data inputs, and subsequently evolving solution scopes, from the unique pellet and target designs. A new comprehensive presentation of these preliminary analyses is given and revisited analyses of the first prototypical target designs are presented to reveal the effectiveness of evolving methods and input data.
Thermo-Mechanical Safety Analyses of Preliminary Design Experiments for 238Pu Production
Manuscript received July 11, 2016; final manuscript received August 17, 2018; published online January 24, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Ralph Hill. This work is in part a work of the U.S. Government. ASME disclaims all interest in the U.S. Government's contributions.
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Hurt, C. J., Freels, J. D., Jain, P. K., and Ivan Maldonado, G. (January 24, 2019). "Thermo-Mechanical Safety Analyses of Preliminary Design Experiments for 238Pu Production." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. January 2019; 5(1): 011002. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4041269
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