During the operation of a light water reactor, a fraction of the hydrogen produced by waterside corrosion is absorbed into the nuclear fuel cladding. When the hydrogen concentration reaches its solubility limit, a brittle zirconium hydride phase precipitates, leading to a loss of ductility of the cladding. To assess cladding integrity, an accurate simulation tool is needed to predict hydrogen distribution within the cladding and hydride precipitation. Recent studies have developed an improved understanding of the physical processes involved in hydrogen redistribution, and hydride precipitation and dissolution. This research led to the development of a new model, called Hydride Nucleation-Growth-Dissolution (HNGD). The present work describes the implementation of HNGD into the fuel performance code BISON, developed at Idaho National Laboratory. The main innovative feature of the HNGD model is that it accounts for hydride nucleation and growth as two distinct precipitation components, using the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov model to describe hydride growth kinetics. Each step of the model implementation into BISON was systematically verified, and simulations of experiments performed for validation, showing that the HNGD model provides improved predictions, and captures some experimentally observed physical phenomena related to hydride growth that the previous model could not.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering