Impact failure of MHW fuel sphere MHFT 65 [electronic resource] : report on interagency task force investigation and SRL evaluation of failure, November 1979-February 1980
- Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 1981.
- Additional Creators:
- United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
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- Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- Following a safety verification impact test failure of a Multi-Hundred Watt (MHW) fuel sphere made at Savannah River Plant, from which 2.1 g of /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ escaped containment, the Department of Energy organized a task force to investigate the cause of the test failure and to assess the failure probability of MHW fuel made at SRP. The task force described a two-part failure mechanism: embrittlement of the iridium containment shell by phosphorus which may have been picked up from the fuel; and large shear strains in the iridium caused by shearing or push-through of large chunks of fuel. Because the likelihood of push-through in this failure model depends on preexisting cracks in the fuel and their orientation to the impact face, the probability of further impact failures could not be easily assessed. From independent analysis of the available data at the Savannah River Laboratory, we concluded that the impact failure was caused by phosphorus embrittlement of the iridium, and breaching during impact of the graphite impact shell surrounding and cushioning the iridium-clad fuel. Excessive strain in the iridium is caused by extrusion of the iridium into the breach. This model predicts that impact failure is essentially independent of pre-existing cracks in the fuel and that SRP fuel, upon impact, should have no more failures than previously used fuel made at Mound Facility. Impact data to date indicate that SRP fuel clad in DOP-26 iridium cladding actually has fewer impact failures than earlier fuel clad in undoped iridium at MF.
- Published through SciTech Connect., 06/01/1981., "dp-1588", "DE81028938", Taylor, D.H., and Du Pont de Nemours (E.I.) and Co., Gibbstown, NJ (USA). Eastern Lab.
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