Skip to main content Accessibility help

Comparison of calculated and measured radionuclide inventory of a Zircaloy-4 cladding tube plenum section

  • Michel Herm (a1), Ron Dagan (a2), Ernesto González-Robles (a1), Nikolaus Müller (a1) and Volker Metz (a1)...


Cladding tubes of water-cooled nuclear reactors are usually made of Zircaloy and are an important retaining element for radionuclides present in the fuel both during predisposal activities such as reloading of fuel assemblies from interim storage casks to final disposal casks and during final disposal in the case of canister breaching. However, cladding integrity is affected by various processes during reactor operation and beyond, e.g. fuel cladding chemical interaction and fission product precipitation onto the inner cladding surface. Using experimental and modelling methods, the radionuclide inventory of an irradiated Zircaloy-4 plenum section is analyzed. Quantities of 235/238U, 237Np, 238/239/240/241/242Pu, 241/243Am, 243/244Cm besides 14C, 55Fe, 125Sb, 154Eu, and 134/137Cs were (radio-)chemically determined in digested Zircaloy-4 subsamples. Measured inventories of activation products in the Zr-alloy are in good agreement with calculated values. However, amounts of actinides and fission products exceed the calculated inventory by factor ∼57 (minor actinides and non-volatile fission products) and ∼114 (137Cs). Excess of minor actinides and part of enhanced Cs inventory originate from fuel residues deposited on the inner cladding surface during fuel rod fabrication, whereas vast amount of cesium is volatilized from subjacent fuel pellets and transported to the plenum.


Corresponding author


Hide All
[1]“Abschlussbericht der Kommission Lagerung hoch radioaktiver Abfallstoffe,” Berlin, Germany K-Drs. 268, 2016.
[2]Grahek, Z. and Rozmaric Macefat, M., “Extraction chromatographic separation of iron from complex liquid samples and the determination of 55Fe,” J. Radioanal. Nucl. Chem., vol. 267, pp. 131137, 2006.
[3]Herm, M., “Study on the effect of speciation on radionuclide mobilization – C-14 speciation in irradiated Zircaloy-4 cladding and nitrate/chloride interaction with An(III)/Ln(III),” PhD thesis, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Karlsruhe, 2015.
[4]Geckeis, H., Degering, D., Goertzen, A., Geyer, F. W., and Dressler, P., “Langzeitsicherheit nuklearer Endlager: Radiochemische Analytik von Proben aus Brennstoffauslaugungsexperimenten,” Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (FZK), Karlsruhe, Germany FZKA 5650, 1995.
[5]Pelowitz, D. B., “MCNPX Users Manual Version 2.7.0,” Los Alamos National Laboratories LA-CP-11-00438, 2011.
[6]Wilson, W. B., Cowell, S. T., England, T. R., Hayes, A. C., and Moller, P., “A Manual for CINDER’90 Version 07.4 Codes and Data,” Los Alamos National Laboratory LA-UR-07-8412, 2008.
[7]Gauld, I. C., Hermann, O. W., and Westfall, R. M., “ORIGEN scale system module to calculate fuel depletion, actinide transmutation, fission product buildup and decay, and associated radiation terms,” Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA ORNL/TM 2005/39, Version 6, Vol. II, Sect. F7, 2009.
[8]Cetnar, J., “General solution of Bateman equations for nuclear transmutations,” Annals of Nuclear Energy, vol. 33, pp. 640645, 2006.
[9]Chadwick, M. B., Herman, M., Oblozinsky, P., Dunn, M. E., Danon, Y., Kahler, A. C., et al. ., “ENDF/B-VII.1 Nuclear Data for Science and Technology: Cross Sections, Covariances, Fission Product Yields and Decay Data,” Nucl. Data Sheets, vol. 112, pp. 28872996, 2011.
[10]Rudling, P., Strasser, A., and Garzarolli, F., “Welding of Zirconium Alloys,” A.N.T. International, 2007.
[11]Stratton, R. W., Botta, F., Hofer, R., Ledergerber, G., Ingold, F., Ott, C., et al. ., “A comparative irradiation test of UO2 sphere-pac and pellet fuel in the Goesgen PWR,” in Int. Topical Meeting on LWR Fuel Performance “Fuel for the 90’s”, Avignon, France, 1991.
[12]Gauld, I. C., Ilas, G., and Radulescu, G., “Uncertainties in predicted isotopic compositions for high burnup PWR spent nuclear fuel,” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commision NUREG/CR-7012, ORNL/TM-2010/41, 2011.
[13]Metz, V., Gonzalez-Robles, E., and Kienzler, B., “Characterization of UOX fuel segments irradiated in the Gösgen pressurized water reactor,” KIT Scientific Publishing, Karlsruhe KIT-SR 7676,, 2014.
[14]Kernkraftwerk-Gösgen, “Technik und Betrieb – Technische Hauptdaten,” Kernkraftwerk Gösgen-Däniken AG, Solothurn, Switzerland, 2015.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed