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Steam and Air Oxidation Behavior of Nuclear Fuel Claddings at Severe Accident Conditions

  • Mirco Große (a1), Martin Steinbrück (a2) and Juri Stuckert (a3)

Abstract

The oxidation behavior of zirconium alloys used as materials for nuclear fuel rod claddings is investigated in the temperature range between 973 and 1673 K in steam and air atmosphere. Parabolic kinetics was found for all materials, atmospheres and temperatures, at least at beginning of the reactions. The temperature dependence of the reaction rate is of Arrhenius type. The parameters of the Arrhenius functions are determined and given for steam oxidation. Due to the formation of a large amount of cracks an acceleration of the reactions can occur. Reasons of the crack formations are phase transformations in the oxide layer known as the breakaway effect and, in case of air atmosphere, local oxygen starvation conditions resulting in reactions with nitrogen. The paper gives a short overview of the relevant mechanisms and processes.

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[1] Steinbrück, M., Groβe, M., Sepold, L. and Stuckert, J., “Synopsis and Outcome of the Quench Experimental Program”, submitted to Nucl. Eng. & Design.
[2] Grosse, M., Nucl. Techn. 170, 272 (2010).
[3] Steinbrück, M., Ox. Met. 70, 317 (2008).
[4] Grosse, M., Steinbrueck, M., Lehmann, E. and Vontobel, P., Oxid. Metals 70 (2008), 149
[5] Grosse, M.: Lehmann, E., Steinbrueck, M., Kühne, G., and J. Stuckert, J. Nucl. Mater. 385, 339 (2009).
[6] Brachet, J. C. and Vandenberghe, V., J. Nucl. Mater. 395, 169 (2009).
[7] Grosse, M., Steinbrueck, M., and Stuckert, J., “Parameters influencing the secondary hydrogenation of Zr-Sn and Zr-Nb alloys during steam oxidation under LOCA and severe accident conditions”, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering ICONE18, May 17-21, 2010, Xi'an, China, ICONE18-29405.
[8] Grosse, M., Berg, M. van den, Lehmann, E., and Schillinger, B., “Ex-situ and in-situ neutron radiography investigations of the hydrogen uptake of nuclear fuel cladding materials during steam oxidation at 1000°C and above”, MRS Spring Meeting 2010, San Francisco, USA, April 5-9 2010.

Keywords

Steam and Air Oxidation Behavior of Nuclear Fuel Claddings at Severe Accident Conditions

  • Mirco Große (a1), Martin Steinbrück (a2) and Juri Stuckert (a3)

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