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The series of experiments performed by AEA Technology at Harwell and released by the Health and Safety Executive investigates the relative importance of the effective gas atom diffusion coefficient, the capacity of grain boundary bubbles and the fuel grain size under conditions more nearly representative of a fault transient rather than of normal operation.
Small samples of UO2 fuel were obtained from CAGR fuel pins and annealed in a pre-defined high temperature, 1500 to 1900 C, for periods of between 2 and 40 hours. The release rate of 85-Kr was monitored continuously throughout each test. The rate at which the final temperature was attained varied from 0.1 to 8 degrees C/s in order to determine whether or not the behaviour of intergranular bubbles was sensitive to changes in temperature ramp rate within this range. The fuel used for these tests had a burn-up of ~17 MWd/kgU and had two mean linear intercept grain sizes, 6 and 18 microns.
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Keywords: experimental data, fission gas release, fuel pellets, fuel rods.