NuFuel & MMSNF 2015

First Workshop on Research into Nuclear Fuel in Europe
and Materials Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Fuels Workshop
Karlsruhe, Germany, November 16th to 18th, 2015

Updated: Tue 08 Dec 2015, 14:27

Poster 6.2: Modeling of SPHERE irradiation with TRANSURANUS fuel performance code

Alexander Fedorov1, S. van Til1, P.R. Hania1, E. D’Agata2, A. Cambriani3, J. Somers3
  • 1: Nuclear Research and consultancy Group (NRG), Westerduinweg 3, NL–1725LE, Petten, The Netherlands
  • 2: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy, P.O. Box 2, 1755 ZG Petten, The Netherlands
  • 3: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for TransUranium elements (JRC-ITU), Hermann-von-Helmholz Platz 1, 76125, Karlsruhe, Germany


The SPHERE irradiation was conducted in the High Flux Reactor in Petten, The Netherlands, and has run for 11 cycles between August 2013 and April 2015, achieving in total 295 Full Power Days (FPDs). The goal of the SPHERE irradiation is to study the performance of MOX-fuel, bearing 3% americium (Am) in two forms: regular pellet type fuel and a sphere-pac fuel. The nominal linear power in two SPHERE pins containing both types of fuel was ~300 W/cm, and the burnup was close to 5% FIMA.

In this work the actual irradiation history, together with the temperature readings was used to model the fuel behavior with the TRANSURANUS fuel performance code. The results of the modelling, in terms of the fuel central temperatures, fuel restructuring and central hole formation are compared to the neutron radiography images obtained at the end of the irradiation. The modelled fission products distribution (axial) and fission gas production and release are compared to the results of non-destructive post-irradiation examination: gamma scan, fuel pin puncturing.