AN EVALUATION OF THE SUBSTITUTION OF ZIRCALOY FOR STAINLESS STEEL IN N.S. SAVANNAH FUEL-ELEMENT CONTAINERS

The possibility of reducing fuel-cycle costs for the N.S. Savannah by replacing the stainless steel fuel-element containers in the permanent reactor core structure by similar containers of a zirconium alloy was investigated. These containers, although not integral parts of the fuel-bearing components, are located within the active core and divide the core into 32 separate channels into which the fuel elements are placed. Areas of investigation included reactor physics, fuel-cycle economics, materials compatibility, structural design, and reactor hazards. A summary of the method of analysis and results is given for each area of investigation. Calculations indicated that the substitution of Zircaloy containers would increase core reactivity about 6% delta k and control-rod worth about 4% delta k. Fuel-cycle costs would be reduced about 26%. Zircaloy-4 appears to be compatible with the reactor system, except for some uncertainty with respect to fretting corrosion, which can be resolved only by tests. The substitution of cold-worked Zircaloy for stainless steel in the container assembly would necessitate only minor design modifications. Although this evaluation is strictly applicable only to the N.S. Savannah reactor, the results demonstrate the feasibility and advantages of using zirconium alloys for in-core capital-cost components. (Author)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Department of Energy
    Oak Ridge, TN  USA  37831
  • Authors:
    • Anderson, T D
    • Gross, E E
    • McCurdy, H C
    • Schaffer, L D
    • Shobe, L R
    • Whitmarsh, C L
  • Publication Date: 1963-11-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 79 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00026689
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Sum Rpt
  • Contract Numbers: W-7405-eng-25
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 4 1973 12:00AM