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Metz on Harold Denton: Memories of a life in nuclear safety
A number of years ago, historian and writer Chuck Metz Jr. was at the Bush’s Visitor Center in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains when he ran into former Nuclear Regulatory Commission official Harold Denton and his wife. Metz was at the visitor center, which opened in 2010 and is now a tourist hotspot, because, as he explained to the Dentons at the time, he had overseen the development of its on-site museum and had written a companion coffee-table history book.
The chance meeting turned into a friendship and a fruitful collaboration. Denton, who in 1979 was the public spokesperson for the NRC as the Three Mile Island-2 accident unfolded, had been working on his memoir, but he was stuck. He asked Metz for help with the organization and compilation of his notes. “I was about to retire,” Metz said, “but I thought that exploring the nuclear world might be an interesting change of pace.”
Denton passed away in 2017, but by then Metz had spent many hours with his fast friend and was able to complete the memoir, Three Mile Island and Beyond: Memories of a Life in Nuclear Safety, which was published recently by ANS. Metz shared some of his thoughts about Denton and the book with Nuclear News. The interview was conducted by NN’s David Strutz.
Chantal Cappelaere, Roger Limon, Christelle Duguay, Gérard Pinte, Michel Le Breton, Pol Bouffioux, Valérie Chabretou, Alain Miquet
Nuclear Technology | Volume 177 | Number 2 | February 2012 | Pages 257-272
Technical Paper | Materials for Nuclear Systems | dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT12-A13370
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
After irradiation and cooling in a pool, spent nuclear fuel assemblies are either transported for wet storage to a devoted site or loaded in casks for dry storage. During dry transportation or at the beginning of dry storage, the cladding is expected to be submitted to creep deformation under the hoop stress induced by the internal pressure of the fuel rod. The thermal creep is a potential mechanism that might lead to cladding failure. A new creep model was developed, based on a database of creep tests on as-received and irradiated cold-worked stress-relieved Zircaloy-4 cladding in a wide range of temperatures (310°C to 470°C) and hoop stress (80 to 260 MPa). Based on three laws - a flow law, a strain-hardening recovery law, and an annealing of irradiation hardening law - this model allows the simulation of not only the transient creep and the steady-state creep, but also the early creep acceleration observed on irradiated samples tested in severe conditions, which was not taken into account in the previous models.The extrapolation of the creep model in the conditions of very long-term creep tests is reassuring, proving the robustness of the chosen formalism. The creep model has been assessed in progressively decreasing stress conditions, more representative of a transport.Set up to predict the cladding creep behavior under variable temperature and stress conditions, this model can easily be implemented into codes in order to simulate the thermomechanical behavior of spent fuel rods in various scenarios of postirradiation phases.