Thermodynamic Assessment of UO2 Pellet Oxidation in Mixture Atmospheres under Spent Fuel Pool Accident


For an analysis of the oxidation behavior of UO2 nuclear fuel pellet under a loss of water coolant accident in a spent nuclear fuel pool of an LWR, thermodynamic assessments of UO2 oxidation were carried out under various atmospheric conditions. In a steam atmosphere, it was assessed that UO2 would not be fully oxidized into U3O8 due to the relatively lower oxygen partial pressure, while UO2 will be fully oxidized into U3O8 in an air atmosphere. In an air and steam mixture atmosphere, the UO2 oxidation was dominantly affected by the air volumetric fraction, because of the relatively higher oxygen partial pressure of air. In addition, the effect of H2 volumetric fraction on the oxygen partial pressure under a mixture atmosphere was calculated, and it was revealed that UO2 pellet oxidation could be reduced above the critical value of H2 volumetric fraction.

Share and Cite:

Kim, D. , Kim, J. , Kim, K. , Yang, J. , Kim, S. and Koo, Y. (2015) Thermodynamic Assessment of UO2 Pellet Oxidation in Mixture Atmospheres under Spent Fuel Pool Accident. World Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology, 5, 102-106. doi: 10.4236/wjnst.2015.52009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Koo, Y.H., Yang, Y.S. and Song, K.W. (2014) Radioactivity Release from the Fukushima Accident and Its Consequences: A Review. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 74, 61-70.
[2] Bottomley, P.D.W., Walker, C.T., Papaioannou, D., Bremier, S., Poml, P., Glatz, J.-P., Winckel, S., Uffelen, P., Manara, D. and Rondinella, V.V. (2013) Severe Accident Research at the Transuranium Institute Karlsruhe: A Review of Past Experience and Its Application to Future Challenges. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 65, 345-356.
[3] NNR-NRC (2013) Consequence Study of a Beyond-Design-Basis Earthquake Affecting the Spent Fuel Pool for a U.S. Mark I Boiling-Water Reactor. Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Cover Note to Review.
[4] Kim, Y.S. (2000) A Thermodynamic Evaluation of the U-O System from UO2 to U3O8. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 279, 173-180.
[5] Blackburn, P.E. (1973) Oxygen Pressure over Fast Breeder Reactor Fuel (I) A Model for UO2±x. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 46, 244-252.
[6] Abrefah, J., Braid, A.A., Wang, W., Khalil, Y. and Olander, D.R. (1994) High Temperature Oxidation of UO2 in Steam-Hydrogen Mixtures. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 208, 98-110.
[7] Hashizume, K., Wang, W.-E. and Olander, D.R. (1999) Volatilization of Urania in Steam at Elevated Temperatures. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 275, 277-286.
[8] Bittel, J.T., Sjodahl, L.H. and White, J.F. (1969) Steam Oxidation Kinetics and Oxygen Diffusion in UO2 at High Temperatures. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 52, 446-451.
[9] Cox, D.S. and O’Connor, R.F. (1992) Measurement of Oxidation/Reduction Kinetics to 2100°C Using Non-Contact Solid-State Electrolytes. Solid State Ionics, 53-56, 238-254.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.