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Two pre-characterised standard WWER-440 Fuel Assemblies with the identification numbers FA-198 and FA-222 were irradiated in the Kola-3 reactor for four and five fuel cycles respectively. The operation of these two assemblies was successfully completed in 1990-1991 with assembly average burn-ups of 46.2 (FA-198) and 48.2 (FA-222) MWd/kgU.
The assemblies were manufactured in May, 1986 with the specific goal to validate fuel performance and design for WWER-440 High Burnup Fuel Cycles. The pre-characterisation of UO2 fuel pellets, cladding material and fabrication procedures was carried out at the Russian Nuclear Fuel Company "Elemash" (Electrostal). The PIE has covered all items of interest to fuel performance. In particular, cladding dimensions and mechanical properties, clad water side and fuel side oxidation, fission gas release, gas pressure and gaseous fractions in fuel rods were measured.
The fission gas release is recognised as an important aspect for the design of the WWER-440 high burnup fuel. The measurements on FGR show that in general the FGR was low, with measured average values of 0.9 and 2.2% after four and five years of base-load reactor operation, respectively. With reference to the overall and safety criteria, the observed FGR is rather normal for the operation conditions currently applied for WWER-440 four year fuel cycles and should not lead to major feedback effects at the end of life by the fuel temperature response to the FGR.
At present only data for corner rods 7 and 120, and diagonal rods 31 and 86 from both assemblies are available. Also, the PIE data are restricted to FGR measured by puncturing, rod internal pressure at the end-of-life and clad creep-down over the active part of the fuel. Further data will be added as they become available.
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- Proselkov V.N., Scheglov A.S.: Initial Fuel Assembly Characteristics and Irradiation History for Two Fuel Assemblies, Irradiated for Four and Five Cycles at Kola NPS. INR RRC KI. N 32/1-136-95. 1995. 19 p. Appendix 27 p. In the Russian version the list of authors: Proselkov V.N., Scheglov A.S., Ananiev A.Yu. et al.
- Volkov, B, Devold, H, Ryazantzev, E P, and Yakovlev, V V.: Comparative Analysis of WWER and PWR Fuel Behaviour to a Burnup of 18 MWd/kgUO2.HWR-541. OECD Halden Reactor Project. Dec. 1997.
Keywords: VVER type reactor, burnup, experimental data, fission gas release, fission products, fuel elements, fuel pellets, fuel rods, fuel-coolant interactions, xenon.