ON THE RATE DETERMINING STEP IN FISSION GAS RELEASE FROM HIGH BURN-UP WATER REACTOR FUEL DURING POWER TRANSIENTS
The radial distribution of grain boundary gas in a PWR and a BWR fuel is reported. The measurements were made using a new approach involving X-ray fluorescence analysis and electron probe microanalysis. In both fuels the concentration of grain boundary gas was much higher than hitherto suspected. The gas was mainly contained in the bubble pore structure. The factors that determined the fraction of gas released from the grains and the level of gas retention on the grain boundaries are identified and discussed. The variables involved are the local fuel stoichiometry, the amount of open porosity, the magnitude of the local compressive hydrostatic stress and the interaction of metallic precipitates with gas bubbles on the grain faces. It is concluded that under transient conditions the interlinkage of gas bubbles on the grain faces and the subsequent formation of grain edge tunnels is the rate determining step for gas release; at least when high burn-up fuel is involved.
Bibliographic Reference: JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, VOL. 149 (1987), PP. 121-131
Record Number: 1989126029001 / Last updated on: 1989-01-01
Available languages: en