EPJ Web Conf.
Volume 253, 2021ANIMMA 2021 – Advancements in Nuclear Instrumentation Measurement Methods and their Applications
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Severe Accident Monitoring|
|Published online||19 November 2021|
The VINON-LOCA test facility: exploring the LOCA phenomenology through an out-of-pile thermal sequence on irradiated pressurized fuel rod
CEA, DES, IRESNE, DEC, Cadarache F-13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France
2 CNRS, IES-UMR 5214, 34000, Montpellier, France
3 CEA, LIST, Sensors and Electronic Architectures Laboratory, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-Sur-Yvette cedex, France
Published online: 19 November 2021
Since the out-of-pile semi-integral tests performed at Studsvik in 2011 for the NRC  and the Halden Loss-Of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) test series IFA-650 , a major safety interest has raised for Fuel Fragmentation, Relocation and Dispersal (FFRD) during a LOCA sequence. In addition to the characteristics of the fuel ejected from the rod after the clad failure, the fuel behaviour before the clad failure is still to be investigated, especially its fragmentation and its possible relocation within the rod during the clad ballooning phase. Furthermore, the chronology and the sequencing of these phenomena is of particular interest.
For this purpose, the VINON-LOCA program, lying in the framework of a trilateral agreement between EDF, Framatome and CEA, is aimed at performing Out-Of-Pile heating tests on irradiated repressurized fuel rods, reproducing a typical Loss Of Coolant Accident thermal sequence. The VINON-LOCA experimental set-up is located in the so-called VERDON lab of the LECA-STAR hot cell complex. This lab was dedicated to the VERDON-ISTP program . The VINON-LOCA set-up is thus largely instrumented for addressing not only these FFRD topics, but also Fission Gas Release (FGR), combining both online measurement (gamma stations, gamma camera, acoustic sensor, pressure, temperatures, flow meters, microGC…), and preand post-test characterization (gamma scanning, tomography, metrology, fuel fragments weighing and sieving, gas analyses…).
An extensive and substantial qualification campaign has been performed to validate the furnace design regarding the desired test conditions, and to qualify the instrumentation. Following some preliminary modelling and calculations, it has included tests on an out-of-cell twin mockup and tests on dummy inactive rods in the hot cell. This allowed achieving successfully the first experimental qualification test of the program end of 2019 on an irradiated UO2 fuel rodlet. A second irradiated experiment is planned with increased instrumentation capabilities, notably a 2D gamma camera for online fuel motion detection.
Key words: Nuclear fuel / experimentation / gamma imaging / FFRD / LOCA / Hot lab
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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