• Sercombe, J. (CEA, DEN, Fuels Studies and Modelling Section) ;
  • Agard, M. (CEA, DEN, Fuels Studies and Modelling Section) ;
  • Struzik, C. (CEA, DEN, Fuels Studies and Modelling Section) ;
  • Michel, B. (CEA, DEN, Fuels Studies and Modelling Section) ;
  • Thouvenin, G. (CEA, DEN, Fuels Studies and Modelling Section) ;
  • Poussard, C. (CEA, DEN) ;
  • Kallstrom, K.R. (Studsvik Nuclear AB)
  • Published : 2009.03.30


In this paper, three power ramp tests performed on high burn-up Re-crystallized Zircaloy2 - UO2 BWR fuel rods (56 to 63 MWd/kgU) within the SCIP project are simulated with METEOR and ALCYONE 3D. Two of the ramp tests are of staircase type up to Linear Heat Rates of 420 and 520 W/cm and with long holding periods. Failure of the 420 W/cm fuel rod was observed after 40 minutes. The third ramp test consisted of a more standard ramp test with a constant power rate of 80 W/cm/min up to 410 W/cm with a short holding time. The tests were first simulated with the METEOR 1D fuel rod code, which gave accurate results in terms of profilometry and fission gas releases. The behaviour of a fuel pellet fragment and of the cladding piece on top of it was then investigated with ALCYONE 3D. The size and the main characteristics of the ridges after base irradiation and power ramp testing were recovered. Finally, the failure criteria validated for PWR conditions and fuel rods with low-to-medium burn-ups were used to analyze the failure probability of the KKL rodlets during ramp testing.


  1. A.-M. Alvarez Holston, K. Kitano, Kallstrom R., Wikmark G., Arimescu I., Schrire D., "Cladding mechanical assessment and application in modelling", Top Fuel 2006, Salamanca, Spain (2006).
  2. Kallstrom R., "SCIP, Task 0; Ramp test results", Report Studsvik-SCIP-42 (2005).
  3. Struzik C., Moyne M., Piron J.-P., "High burn-up modelling of UO2 and MOX fuel with METEOR/TRANSURANUS version 1.5", ANS International Topical Meeting on Light Water Reactor Fuel Performances, Portland (1997).
  4. Thouvenin G., Michel B., Sercombe J., Plancq D., Thevenin P., "Multidimensional modeling of a ramp test with the PWR fuel performance code ALCYONE", International Meeting on LWR Fuel Performance, San Francisco, USA (2007).
  5. Bentejac F., "TOUTATIS an application of the CAST3M finite element code for PCI three dimensional modeling", International seminar on PCI, Aix en Provence, France (2004).
  6. Plancq D., "PLEIADES: a unified environment for multi-dimensional fuel performance modelling", International Meeting on LWR Fuel Performance, Florida (2004).
  7. Michel B., Sercombe J., Thouvenin G., Chatelet R., << 3D fuel cracking modelling in pellet cladding mechanical interaction", Engineering Fracture Mechanics 75, 3581-3598 (2008).
  8. Michel B., "3D Fuel Modelling: Multi physic coupling formulation between gaseous swelling and mechanical behaviour", in preparation (2009).
  9. Ledergerber G., Abolhassani S., Limback M., Lundmark R.J., Magnusson K.A., << Characterization of high burn up fuel for safety related fuel testing >>, Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 43 (9), 1006-1014 (2006).
  10. Garcia P., Struzik C., Agard M., Louche V., << Mono-dimensional mechanical modelling of fuel rods under normal and off-normal operating conditions >>, Nuclear Eng. And Design, 216, 183-201 (2002).
  11. Roberts G., "The concentration of stress in cladding produced by the expansion of cracked fuel pellets", Nuclear Eng. And Design, 47, 257-266 (1978).
  12. Brochard J., Bentejac F., Hourdequin N., Seror S., Verdeau C., Fandeur O., Lansiard S., Verpeaux P., "Modelling of Pellet Cladding Interaction in PWR fuel", Transactions of SMIRT 16, Washington DC (2001).
  13. Cox B., << Pellet-Clad Interaction (PCI) failures of zirconium alloy fuel cladding - a review", Journal of Nuclear Materials, 172, 249-292 (1990).
  14. Nonon C., Lansiart S., Struzik C., Plancq D., Martin S., Decroix G.M., Rabouille O., Beguin S., Julien B., << Differential PCI behaviour of PWR fuel rods under transient conditions >>, Proc. Of the Int. Meeting on LWR Fuel Performance, Orlando, USA (2004).
  15. Mougel C., Verhaeghe B., Verdeau C., Lansiart S., Beguin S., Julien B., << Power ramping in the Osiris reactor : databaseanalysis for standard UO2 fuel with Zy-4 cladding", Proc. Of the Pellet-clad Interaction in Water Reactor Fuels Seminar, Aix-en-Provence, France (2004).
  16. Michel B., Sercombe J., Thouvenin G., << A new phenomenological criterion for Pellet Cladding Interaction rupture", in Press, Nuclear Eng. and Design, 238, 1612-1628 (2008).

Cited by

  1. Simulation of Pellet-Cladding Interaction with the PLEIADES Fuel Performance Software Environment vol.182, pp.2, 2013,