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Effects of transient fission gas release on rod balloon burst behavior during a loss-of-coolant accident

by Ian T Greenquist, Nathan A Capps
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Annals of Nuclear Energy
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The US nuclear energy industry is investigating strategies to increase the reactor operating cycle to 24 months, which would result in rod average burnups exceeding the current limit of 62 GWd/tU. To support this goal, multiphysics simulations tools and methodologies are being developed to predict the effects of this change during transient events such as loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCAs). In this work, two cladding burst correlations were used to predict cladding failure. These were coupled with three transient fission gas release (tFGR) models and were implemented in the BISON fuel performance code to quantify any changes in cladding burst behavior during a large-break LOCA. First, a simple linear model was used to perform a sensitivity analysis of a single fuel rod. Second, a tFGR model available in BISON was applied to 281 fuel rods throughout the core. The third model examined was an empirical correlation based on data from the literature.