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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Mechanical Properties of Zircaloy-4 PWR Fuel Cladding with Burnup 54-64MWd/kgU and Implications for RIA Behavior

Journal of ASTM International, June 2005

Jean Desquines(1), Bernard Cazalis(1), Christian Bernaudat(2), Christophe Poussard(3), Xavier Averty(3), Pascal Yvon(4).

Summary

The PROMETRA material testing program is a support program related to the study of high burnup fuel rod behavior under Reactivity Initiated Accidents (RIA) and to the interpretation of the CABRI REP-Na RIA test results. Hoop and axial tensile tests have been performed on fresh and irradiated Zircaloy-4 cladding alloy first at CEA Grenoble hot labs and now at CEA Saclay in order to assess the cladding mechanical behavior during RIA transients. Efforts have been continuously carried out in order to improve the prototipicallity of the tests for RIA studies involving new specimens and new testing techniques. The corrosion level of irradiated specimens reached up to 130 µm of oxide layer thickness. The influence of in-pile oxide layer spallation has also been addressed. High strain-rate material properties of irradiated Zircaloy-4 and the consequences of hydride embrittlement can be derived from the PROMETRA program.

(1) : Engineer, IRSN, DPAM/SEMCA 13108 Saint Paul-Lez-Durance, France.
(2) : Consulting Engineer, EDF-SEPTEN, 69628 Villeurbanne Cedex, France.
(3) : Research Engineer, CEA-Saclay, DEN/DMN/SEMI 91191 Gif Sur Yvette Cedex, France.
(4) : Head of Service, CEA-Saclay, DEN/DMN/SEMI 91191 Gif Sur Yvette Cedex, France.


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