On the Development of Tolerant Fuel --- a New Generation Fuel

Авторы: Sotnikov A.S. Опубликовано: 21.12.2021
Опубликовано в выпуске: #4(139)/2021  

DOI: 10.18698/0236-3941-2021-4-124-137

Раздел: Энергетическое, металлургическое и химическое машиностроение | Рубрика: Атомное реакторостроение, машины, агрегаты и технология материалов атомной промышленности  
Ключевые слова: reactor core safety, fuel element cladding operation, zirconium alloys, silicon carbide, fragility, composite, tolerant fuel

The concept of tolerant fuel is considered as applied to water-cooled power reactors. The concept is based on eliminating the steam-zirconium reaction. For this, two work areas, i.e., using the physical and the thermodynamic barriers, were considered. Physical barrier presupposes exclusion of contact between water and zirconium, and the thermodynamic barrier (the most radical method) envisages replacement of the alloy containing zirconium with other materials inert to water when exposed to high temperature in the reactor core (∼ 1200 °C). Consequences of the most devastating accidents at the nuclear power plants in the world were discussed: Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. The latest accident in Japan brought to the fore the concept of tolerant nuclear fuel, i.e., being resistant to accidents. Work orientation in creating the tolerant fuel is indicated. Main attention is paid to materials and technologies applied to tolerant fuel. General requirements to safety analysis of the reactor facility fuel system currently developed in the Russian Federation and abroad, as well as current safety criteria for fuel elements, under design-based accidents are presented. Procedure for calculating justification of the safety criteria fulfillment for fuel elements under design-basis accidents is briefly considered. Main characteristics of the new generation materials under development for reactor cores as applied to tolerant fuel are presented. Based on comparing the proposed materials as the tolerant fuel for the fuel element claddings, composite materials based on the heat-resistant SiC/SiC ceramic system could be recommended, and as far as fuel materials are concerned --- materials with increased density, uranium capacity and thermal conductivity values, i.e., nitride fuel and fuel made of uranium silicide


[1] Bezumov V.N., Novikov V.V., Kabanov A.A., et al. Design issues of fuel rod cladding made of composite material based on carborund (SiC) for concept of water cooled reactors safety under accident conditions. VANT. Ser. Materialovedenie i novye materialy [Problems of Atomic Science and Technology. Ser. Materials Science], 2014, no. 4, pp. 76--90 (in Russ.).

[2] Voynetskaya V.S., Shepelev A.G., Ponamorenko T.A. Prospects of utilization of SiC/SiC composites in fusion reactors (from analysis of international databases INIS, MSCI, INSPEC). VANT. Ser. Materialovaedenie i novye materialy [Problems of Atomic Science and Technology. Ser. Materials Science], 2007, no. 2, pp. 160--163 (in Russ.).

[3] Solntsev S.S., Grashchenkov D.V., Evdokimov S.A. Advanced refractory composite materials and coatings for aviation. Steklo i keramika, 2014, no. 1, pp. 25--29 (in Russ.).

[4] Novak S., Drazic G., Konig K., et al. Preparation of SiC/SiC composites by the slip infiltration and transient eutectoid (SITE process). J. Nucl. Mater., 2010, vol. 399, no. 2-3, pp. 167--174. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2010.01.014

[5] Novak S., Ivekovic A. Fabrication of SiC/SiC composites by SITE-P process. J. Nucl. Mater., 2012, vol. 427, no. 1-3, pp. 110--115. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2012.04.023

[6] Ivekovic A., Novak S., Drazic G., et al. Current status and prospects of SiC/SiC for fusion structural applications. J. Eur. Ceram. Soc., 2013, vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 1577--1589. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2013.02.013

[7] Koyanagi T., Katoh Y., Nozawa T., et al. Recent progress in the development of SiC composites for nuclear fusion applications. J. Nucl. Mater., 2018, vol. 511, pp. 544--555. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.06.017

[8] Konstruktsionnye materialy [Construction materials]. V: Entsiklopediya sovremennoy tekhniki. T. 1 [In: Encyclopedia of modern technics]. Moscow, Sovetskaya entsiklopediya Publ., 1963, p. 416 (in Russ.).

[9] Karageorgiy-Alkalaev P.M., ed. Karbid kremniya. Rost, svoystva, primenenie [Silicone carbide. Growth, properties, application]. Tashkent, FAN Publ., 1977.

[10] Henisch H.K., Roy R., eds. Silicon carbide. Pergamon Press, 1968.

[11] Nikitina A.A., Ageev V.S., Leonteva-Smirnova M.V., et al. Development of works on structural core materials for fast neutron reactors. Atomnaya energiya, 2015, vol. 119, no. 5, pp. 292--300 (in Russ.).

[12] Goncharov A.A., Kumachev A.V., Novikov V.V., et al. [Safety criteria improvement as applied to VVER fuel under LOCA and RIA condition]. Sb. tr. 5 Mezhdunar. nauch.-tekh. konf. "Obespechenie bezopasnosti AES s VVER" [Proc. 5th Int. Sc.-Tech. Conf. "Safety Assurance of NPP with WWER"]. Podol’sk, Gidropress, 2007 (in Russ.). Available at: http://www.gidropress.podolsk.ru/files/proceedings/mntk2007/ disc/autorun/article12-ru.htm

[13] Goncharov A.A., Kuznetsov V.I., Kumachev A.V., et al. [Experimental and computational studies on fuel behaviour in high burn-out WWER in design accidents]. Nauch.-tekh. konf. AO "TVEL" [Sc.-Tech. Conf. of AO "TVEL"]. Moscow, VNIINM Publ., 2016,p. 16 (in Russ.).

[14] Novikov V.V. [Program for development of tolerant fuel]. Nauch.-tekh. konf. AO "TVEL" [Sc.-Tech. Conf. of AO "TVEL"]. Moscow, VNIINM Publ., 2016, p. 20 (in Russ.).

[15] Novikov V.V., Karpyuk L.A., Orlov V.K., et al. [Development of tolerant fuel]. Nauch.-tekh. konf. AO "TVEL" [Sc.-Tech. Conf. of AO "TVEL"]. Moscow, VNIINM Publ., 2016,p. 23 (in Russ.).