Title page for ETD etd-10172009-102536

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Van der Merwe, Jacobus Johannes
Email hanno.vdmerwe@pbmr.co.za
URN etd-10172009-102536
Document Title Modelling silver transport in spherical HTR fuel
Degree DPhil
Department Physics
Advisor Name Title
Prof J Malherbe Supervisor
  • heat-up test results
  • HTR fuel
  • silver fission
  • transport mechanisms
Date 2009-09-02
Availability unrestricted
For direct cycle gas cooled high temperature reactor designs, operating conditions may be limited as a result of excessive maintenance dose rates caused by the 110mAg source term on the turbine. The accurate prediction of silver fission and activation products’ release during normal operation is required to ensure regulatory compliance and economic viability of planned power plants. Fuel qualification programs should provide satisfactory results to ensure correct analyses, but will however not be available for many years. In the meantime data from the German fuel development program may be utilized. Traditionally diffusion models were used to derive transport parameters from limited irradiation testing of fuel materials and components. Best estimates for all applicable German fuel irradiation tests with defendable uncertainty ranges were never derived. However, diffusion theory and current parameters cannot account for all irradiation and heat-up test results, and for some tests, it appears unacceptably conservative. Other transport mechanisms have been suggested and alternative calculation models are being considered. In this thesis the relevant German material and irradiation tests were evaluated with the current PBMR metallic fission product release calculation model. Transport through all the fuel materials and components and from the sphere to the coolant gas was considered and best possible models and parameters were suggested. For the transport of silver through the SiC layer an alternative suggested model called the Molecular Vapour Transport Release (MVR) Model was evaluated against the traditional diffusion model. From this evaluation it was shown that classical diffusion modelling was still a viable model to predict silver transport in SiC. The MVR model was found to be a feasible model as well. However, due to the much larger verification and validation effort required, it was decided to use the diffusion model until such time that experimental results become available that might elucidate the exact physical transport model. The evaluation also showed that the diffusion model used must be quantified in a detailed evaluation of all applicable irradiation tests. A study of all German irradiation tests was previously performed and the applicable irradiation tests were identified. A detailed evaluation of these irradiation tests were performed with an updated diffusion model. New transport and material parameters were derived in this detailed evaluation and compared with existing values. An evaluation of some heat-up tests of irradiated fuel spheres was performed to assess the range for which the newly derived transport parameters are valid. The different models with their old and newly derived parameters were used to analyse sample PBMR cores. Recommendations were made to the suitability of the different models and parameters for future PBMR silver fission and activation product analyses.

© 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Van der Merwe, JJ 2009, Modelling silver transport in spherical HTR fuel, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10172009-102536/ >


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