Irradiation behavior of ground U(Mo) fuel with and without Si added to the matrix

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In the framework of the IRIS-TUM irradiation program, several full size, flat dispersion fuel plates containingground U(Mo) fuel kernels in an aluminum matrix, with and without addition of silicon (2.1 wt.%), have been irradiated in the OSIRIS reactor. The highest irradiated fuel plate (with an Al–Si matrix) reached a local maximum burnup of 88.3% 235U LEU-equivalent and showed a maximum thickness increase of 323 lm (66%) but remained intact. This paper reports the post irradiation examination results obtained on four IRIS-TUM plates. The evolution of the fission gas behavior in this fuel type from homogeneously dispersed nanobubbles to the eventual formation of large but apparently stable fission gas bubbles at the interface of the interaction layer and the fuel kernel is illustrated. It is also shown that the observed moderate, but positive effect of Si as inhibitor for the U(Mo)–Al interaction is related to the dispersion of this element in the interaction layer, although its concentration is very inhomogeneous and appears to be too low to fully inhibit interaction layer growth.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Ground MTR fuel, U(Mo), microstructure

ID: 163282