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A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Elmar Eidelpes, Luis F. Ibarra, Ricardo A. Medina
Nuclear Technology | Volume 205 | Number 8 | August 2019 | Pages 1095-1118
Regular Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2019.1575127
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This study presents two statistical models that were developed to estimate the expected peak cladding hoop stress (CHS) and the amount of hydrogen in pressurized water reactor (PWR) spent nuclear fuel (SNF) rod cladding. Peak CHS is caused by high rod internal pressure during vacuum drying performed when transferring SNF to dry storage. During in-reactor operation of PWR fuel, the rod cladding tends to corrode and uptake hydrogen. The hydrogen content and CHS control hydride-related cladding embrittlement at low material temperatures. The two methodologies developed in this study were used to create a generic rod database with information on PWR SNF conditions. This database provides information on 100 000 randomly selected rods that form part of the current U.S. SNF inventory. According to the statistical results, the expected hydrogen content of PWR rod cladding is in a sensitive interval that may facilitate hydride reorientation. However, the modeling results suggest that the expected peak CHS of the selected rods is significantly below 90 MPa, which is the estimated lower bound stress necessary to trigger significant radial hydride embrittlement in cladding after being cooled to room temperature. Further, the results indicate that hydride embrittlement due to excessive hydrogen in cladding is unlikely. Therefore, a low probability of hydride-related embrittlement of PWR SNF cladding currently stored in the U.S. inventory is anticipated, even under consideration of low cladding temperatures after long-term SNF dry storage.