Nuclear Technology / Volume 157 / Number 3 / March 2007 / Pages 215-229
Technical Paper / Reactivity-Initiated Accident (RIA)
An assessment of the mechanical properties of the highly irradiated fuel claddings under high strain rate has been carried out in the framework of the PROMETRA program undertaken by the French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire in collaboration with Electricité de France and Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA). Three types of tests, including burst tests, hoop and axial tensile tests, have been performed at CEA-Saclay hot laboratories to determine the cladding tensile properties to use in the SCANAIR code. The prototypicality of each test with regard to the reactivity-initiated accident loading conditions can be addressed and analyzed in terms of strain or stress ratio. The high-strain-rate ductile mechanical properties of irradiated ZIRLO and M5 alloys derived from the PROMETRA program and their comparison to the stress-relieved irradiated Zircaloy-4 are reported. Then, the clad brittle behavior, in particular for highly corroded or spalled Zircaloy-4 cladding, is investigated.