Status of Wrought FeCrAl-UO2 Capsules Irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor


Candidate cladding materials for accident tolerant fuel applications require extensive testing and validation prior to commercial deployment within the nuclear power industry. One class of cladding materials, FeCrAl alloys, is currently undergoing such effort. Within these activities is a series of irradiation programs within the Advanced Test Reactor. These programs are developed to aid in commercial maturation and understand the fundamental mechanisms controlling the cladding performance during normal operation of a typical light water reactor. Three different irradiation programs are on-going; one designed as a simple proof-of-principle concept, the other to evaluate the susceptibility of FeCrAl to fuel-cladding chemical interaction, and the last to fully simulate the conditions of a pressurized water reactor experimentally. To date, nondestructive post-irradiation examination has been completed on the rodlet deemed FCA-L3 from the simple proof-of-concept irradiation program. Initial results show possible breach of the rodlet under irradiation but further studies are needed to conclusively determine whether breach has occurred and the underlying reasons for such a possible failure. Further work includes characterizing additional rodlets following irradiation.