An Oscillator Technique to Determine the Thermal Contact Conductance between Fuel and Cladding in an Operating Nuclear Fuel Rod
It is being proposed, that fuel-to-clad thermal contact conductances in nuclear-reactor fuel pins can be determined during operation by measuring the phase shift of periodic temperature variations, produced by radially inward-flowing heat waves, at the surface and in the centre of the fuel rod. Solutions to the problem i.e. the dependence of the phase shift on gap conductance, have been obtained for the typical geometry of a fuel pin. The theoretical predictions were checked experimentally with a fuel-pin model consisting of a copper-clad alumina rod. Agreement between measured and predicted phase-shifts was excellent and proved the validity of the concept which will be further developed for in-pile application.
KeywordsThermal Contact Conductance Plutonium Oxide Constantan Wire Periodic Temperature Variation Central Thermocouple
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