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IFPE/CONTACT, PWR Fuel Performance Tests Siloe Reactor

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Program name Package id Status Status date
IFPE/CONTACT NEA-1595/02 Arrived 27-JAN-2003

Machines used:

Package ID Orig. computer Test computer
NEA-1595/02 Many Computers
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The CONTACT series of experiments was a programme of in-pile tests conducted in the Siloe reactor, Grenoble. They were short rods of Zr-4 clad UO2 pellets of typical PWR 17x17 design. The purpose of the experiments was to improve the understanding of fuel rod performance. Two designs of fuel pellet were investigated in separate tandem rods. The experiments described here are those employing only standard commercial quality Framatome pellets. Each rod contained 5 enriched pellets with an Al2O3 insulator pellet at each end of the column. The plenum at the top of the rod contained an inconel spring to mechanically restrain the column.


The rods were irradiated in a pressurized water loop whose location could be moved during irradiation in order to maintain the desired power level in the experimental rod. In this way, near constant power was maintained throughout each experiment.


CONTACT 1 was irradiated between October 1978 and July 1980 at a constant power level close to 40 kW/m to a discharge burn-up of ~22 MWd/kgU. During irradiation, the internal pressure was 1 MPa of helium.


CONTACT 2 was irradiated between January 1979 and November 1979 at a constant power of ~25 kW/m and an internal helium pressure between 0.1-0.2 MPa. The rod was discharged early because of a failure at a burn-up of ~5.5 MWd/kgU and replaced with the identical design rod CONTACT 2bis.

CONTACT 2bis commenced irradiation in April 1980 and was discharged in June 1981 at a burn-up of 12.4 MWd/kgU after the accidental introduction of a quantity of air into the water loop. During irradiation the power was maintained at ~25kW/m and the internal pressure was 0.1-0.2 MPa helium.

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Package ID Status date Status
NEA-1595/02 27-JAN-2003 Masterfiled restricted
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- M Charles and P Chenebault: "Mechanisms of Fission Gas Release from Different Types of Fuel Rods during Normal Operation: Results and Analysis of "CONTACT" Experiments", ANS Topical Meeting on Light Water Reactor Fuel Performance", Orlando, Florida, USA, 22-24 April 1985.

NEA-1595/02, included references:
- M. Bruet, J. Dodelier, P. Melin and M. L. Pointud: CONTACT 1 and 2
Experiments: Behaviour of PWR Fuel Rod up to 15000 MWd.tu-1, IAEA Specialists'
Meeting on Water Reactor Fuel Element Performance Computer Modelling,
Blackpool, UK, 17-21 March 1980
- M. Charles, J. J. Abassin, D. Baron, M. Bruet and P. Melin: Utilization of
CONTACT Experiments to Improve the Fission Gas Release Knowledge in PWR Fuel
Rods, IAEA Specialists' Meeting on Water Reactor Fuel Elements Performance
Computer Modelling, Preston, UK, March 1982
- M. Charles and C. Lemaignan: Fuel performance under normal PWR conditions: A
review of relevant, experimental results and models, Journal of Nuclear
Materials 188(1992) 96-103
- J. A. Turnbull: A model for calculating the gap inventory of 131I in intact
fuel rods, BNES Conference on Nuclear Fuel Performance, Stratford-upon-Avon,
UK, 1985
- J.A. Turnbull: A Comparison and Interpretation of Radioactive Fission Gas
Release Data from Several Swept Fuel Experiments TPRD/B/0405/N84
PWR/FBWG/P(83)151 (March 1984)
- OECD/NEA/IAEA Fuel Performance Database, Dataset: CONTACT Presentation
- C. Baudusseau: Programme CONTACT Crayon combustible - Specifications
techniques Compte rendu DMG No. DR 30/77 (4 aout 1977)
- Plan d'Ensemble crayon CONTACT 1 et 2 DMG SER 780401 (27 novembre 1978)
- Plan d'Ensemble crayon CONTACT 2bis DMG SER 790601 (27 novembre 1978)
- M. Bruet: Etalonnage de Puissance des Dispositifs CONTACT - 400 et 250
Compte rendu DMG No.77/78 (3 juillet 1978)
- C. Baudusseau: Fiche de Fabrication des Crayons Combustibles CONTACT 1 et
CONTACT 2 -Dossier 3- DMG/SER/No.79-30/CB/AC (17 janvier 1979)
- C. Baudusseau: Experience CONTACT Dossier 3 Fiche de Fabrication du Crayon
Combustible CONTACT 2 BIS Compte Rendu DMG No.110/80 (28 octobre 1980)
- M. Bruet: Experiences CONTACT 1 et 2 Dossier 3 Resultats d'irradiation du
1.04.79 Compte rendu DMG DR 18/79 (24 aout 1979)
- M. Bruet: Experiences CONTACT 1 et 2 Dossier 4 bis Resultats d'irradiation du
1.04.79 a la fin des experiences Compte rendu DMG No. DR 14/81 (12 mai 1981)
- J.J. Abassin: Experiences CONTACT 2 BIS et CONTACT 3 Relachement des gaz de
fission C.R. DMG No. DR 34/81 (14 decembre 1981)
- D. Verne: Experiences CONTACT 2 bis Dossier 4 Resultats d'irradiation C.R.
DMG DR 14/83 (22 avril 1983)
- Y. Kauffmann et M. Bruet: CONTACT 2 Dossier 5 : examens apres irradiation
Compte rendu DMG No.DR 81/21 (25 aout 1981)
- D. Verne et G. Christin: Experience CONTACT 2 bis Dossier 5 - Examen apres
irradiation Compte rendu DMG DR 26/83 (21 juillet 1983)
- D. Verne et G. Christin: Experience CONTACT 1 Dossier 5 - Examens apres
irradiation Compte rendu DMG No. DR 40/83 (1er decembre 1983)
- M. Bruet, M. Charles, P. Melin: Programme CONTACT Dossier 6 - Synthese des
resultats Compte-rendu DMG/DR 21/85 (30 aout 1985)
- M. Charles, P. Chenebault, Ph. Melin: Mecanismes de relachement des gaz de
fission dans divers types de crayons combustibles en fonctionnement normal :
resultats et analyse des experiences CONTACT Compte rendu DMG 11/85 (19 fevrier
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17, rue des Martyrs





10, rue Juliette Recamier

F-69456 LYON Cedex 06



Compilation: J.A. Turnbull

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IRR-HIS.*    Irradiation histories
CLAD-DI.C12 dD=(Diam.-initial Diam.) at zero reactor power for Rods 1 and 2bis
FPR-TF.C12   (R/B) values for 85m-Kr versus Centreline Temperature for rods 1
and 2
KR85.ALL     Fractional release of 85-Kr versus Burn-up (MWd/kgU) for all rods
PRESS-D.ALL Pressure drop (MPa) versus Burn-up (MWd/kgU) for all rods
SHORTL.ALL   (R/B) values for all isotopes measured versus Burn-up(MWd/kgU)
TEMPS.ALL    Recorded temperature (deg C) at constant power for all rods
READ.ME      Readme file
CONTACT.SUM Description of the experiments
Review of CONTACT experiments
QA Report for CONTACT experiments
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Keywords: experimental data, fission gas release, fuel elements, fuel rods, pwr reactors.