Improvements of fuel failure detection in boiling water reactors using helium measurements
Paper i proceeding, 2012
To certify a continuous and safe operation of a boiling water reactor, careful surveillance of fuel integrity is of high importance. The detection of fuel failures can be performed by off-line gamma spectroscopy of off-gas samples and/or by on-line nuclide specific monitoring of gamma emitting noble gases. To establish the location of a leaking fuel rod, power suppression testing can be used. The accuracy of power suppression testing is dependent on the information of the delay time and the spreading of the released fission gases through the systems before reaching the sampling point. This paper presents a method to improve the accuracy of power suppression testing by determining the delay time and gas spreading profile. To estimate the delay time and examine the spreading of the gas in case of a fuel failure, helium was injected in the feed water system at Forsmark 3 nuclear power plant. The measurements were performed by using a helium detector system based on a mass spectrometer installed in the off-gas system. The helium detection system and the results of the experiment are presented in this paper.