Microstructural evolution of U(Mo)–Al(Si) dispersion fuel under irradiation – Destructive analyses of the LEONIDAS E-FUTURE plates

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Abstract

Several irradiation experiments have confirmed the positive effect of adding Si to the matrix of an U(Mo) dispersion fuel plate on its in-pile irradiation behavior. E-FUTURE, the first experiment of the LEONIDAS program, was performed to select an optimum Si concentration and fuel plate heat treatment parameters for further qualification. It consisted of the irradiation of 4 distinct (regarding Si content and heat treatments), full size flat fuel plates in the BR2 reactor under bounding conditions (470 W/cm2 peak BOL power, 70% peak burn-up). After the irradiation, the E-FUTURE plates were examined non-destructively and found to have pillowed in the highest burn-up positions. The destructive post-irradiation examination confirmed that the fuel evolves in a stable way up to a burn-up of 60%235U. Even in the deformed area (pillow) the U(Mo) fuel itself shows stable behavior and remaining matrix material was present. From the calculation of the volume fractions, the positive effect of a higher Si amount added to the matrix and the higher annealing temperature can be derived.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-448
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Volume441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • MTR fuel, BR2 irradiation

ID: 185379