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Abstract

This report describes an experiment in which a hot, electrically heated, Zircaloy tube was reflooded with water from below. The object was to learn about the behaviour of the Zircaloy cladding of PWR fuel rods during the reflood phase of a loss of coolant accident. The effect of an oxide layer on the Zircaloy was systematically investigated. Layers of average thickness 1, 15, 25, 58 and 75 mum were studied (thickness monitored by specially designed probe). The nature of the surface was characterized by means of smaller samples oxidised under similar conditions. It was found that oxidation had a small effect on the quench front speed, compared with the effect of other variables such as flooding rate and pressure. It increased the speed by up to 40 % at the highest oxide thickness (75 mum). Findings that Zircaloy rewets approximately twice as fast as Inconel does under the same conditions, in inverse proportion to the thermal capacities of the the two materials, were confirmed.

Additional information

Authors: DENHAM M K, UKAEA, AEE WINFRITH, DORCHESTER, DORSET (UK);ELLIOTT D F, UKAEA, AEE WINFRITH, DORCHESTER, DORSET (UK);BRITTON JONES K A UKAEA, AEE WINFRITH, DORCHESTER, DORSET (UK), UKAEA, AEE WINFRITH, DORCHESTER, DORSET (UK)
Bibliographic Reference: EUROPEAN APPLIED RESEARCH REPORTS + NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SECTION, VOL. 5 (1984), NO. 5, PP. 917-1100 (EUR 8894 EN).
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