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    A Comparison of Transient-Heating Burst Test Results of Unirradiated and Irradiated Zircaloy-4 Fuel Rod Cladding

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    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission supported an experimental program to study the mechanical properties of both unirradiated and irradiated fuel rod cladding. The program was designed to produce a mechanical property data base for use in developing modeling codes which could then be used to predict the performance of Zircaloy-4 clad fuel rods under various reactor loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) conditions. Transient-heating burst tests were conducted at Argonne National Laboratory, Battelle Columbus Laboratories, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of that program. A brief description of the testing methods, specimens, equipment, and procedures illustrates the similarities and differences in tests conducted at each laboratory. The data obtained from tests conducted in steam and utilizing test specimens with internal heaters or specimens containing alumina mandrels or pellets were compared for heating rates of 5, 28, and 55 C/sec. Both burst pressure and circumferential failure strain data versus burst temperature were plotted and compared in the range of 650 to 1250 C. It was found that testing methods, specimen oxidation layer, and irradiation effected the transient-heating burst test data.


    Zircaloy-4 cladding, fuel cladding, burst tests, transient heating, burst pressure, failure strain

    Author Information:

    Lowry, LM
    Principal Research Scientist, Battelle Columbus Laboratories, Columbus, O.

    Perrin, JS
    President, Fracture Control Corporation, Goleta, CA

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34377S