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Radioactive Fission Product Release from Defective Light Water Reactor Fuel Elements

Vadim V. Konyashov, Alexander M. Krasnov

Nuclear Technology / Volume 138 / Number 1 / Pages 1-16

April 2002

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Results are provided of the experimental investigation of radioactive fission product (RFP) release, i.e., krypton, xenon, and iodine radionuclides from fuel elements with initial defects during long-term (3 to 5 yr) irradiation under low linear power (5 to 12 kW/m) and during special experiments in the VK-50 vessel-type boiling water reactor.

The calculation model for the RFP release from the fuel-to-cladding gap of the defective fuel element into coolant was developed. It takes into account the convective transport in the fuel-to-cladding gap and RFP sorption on the internal cladding surface and is in good agreement with the available experimental data. An approximate analytical solution of the transport equation is given. The calculation dependencies of the RFP release coefficients on the main parameters such as defect size, fuel-to-cladding gap, temperature of the internal cladding surface, and radioactive decay constant were analyzed.

It is shown that the change of the RFP release from the fuel elements with the initial defects during long-term irradiation is, mainly, caused by fuel swelling followed by reduction of the fuel-to-cladding gap and the fuel temperature. The calculation model for the RFP release from defective fuel elements applicable to light water reactors (LWRs) was developed. It takes into account the change of the defective fuel element parameters during long-term irradiation. The calculation error according to the program does not exceed 30% over all the linear power change range of the LWR fuel elements (from 5 to 26 kW/m).

 
 
 
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