A separate computational branch has been implemented within the DART (Dispersion Analysis Research Tool) computational code to simulate the swelling behavior of U-10Mo monolithic fuel under the operating conditions of high-power research and test reactors (RTRs). The monolithic branch of the DART code implements a mechanistic rate-theory-based fission-gas-behavior model for the calculation of fission gas swelling, as well as a suite of thermal, physical, and mechanical models to take into account various processes occurring in RTR fuels during irradiation. In order to accurately simulate and eventually predict U-10Mo monolithic fuel irradiation behavior, the code uses materials properties calculated with lower length-scale computational methods, such as gas atom diffusivity and U-Mo surface energy from atomic simulations and grain-morphology-specific recrystallization kinetics (recrystallized fuel volume fractions vs. fission density) predicted using the phase-field method. The remainder of fission gas behavior parameters used in the model were calibrated with measured intergranular bubble size distributions. With this integrated simulation approach, the swelling behavior of U-10Mo monolithic fuel was simulated for various initial grain sizes at different operating conditions and compared with measured data. Furthermore, because limited experimental data exist for parameter calibration detailed sensitivity studies for the important parameters used in the fission gas behavior model were performed in order to examine their impact on both intergranular gas bubble morphology at low fission density, and on total porosity at high fission density.
Published: August 17, 2023
Ye B., A. Oaks, S. Hu, B. Beeler, J. Rest, Z. Mei, and A. Yacout. 2023.Integrated Simulation of U-10Mo Monolithic Fuel Swelling Behavior.Journal of Nuclear Materials 583.PNNL-SA-176536.doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2023.154542