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Title: Fuel Thermo-physical Characterization Project. Fiscal Year 2014 Final Report

The Office of Material Management and Minimization (M3) Reactor Conversion Fuel Thermo-Physical Characterization Project at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was tasked with using PNNL facilities and processes to receive irradiated low enriched uranium–molybdenum (LEU-Mo) fuel plate samples and perform analysis in support of the M3 Reactor Conversion Program. This work is in support of the M3 Reactor Conversion Fuel Development Pillar that is managed by Idaho National Laboratory. The primary research scope was to determine the thermo-physical properties as a function of temperature and burnup. Work conducted in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 complemented measurements performed in FY 2013 on four additional irradiated LEU-Mo fuel plate samples. Specifically, the work in FY 2014 investigated the influence of different processing methods on thermal property behavior, the absence of aluminum alloy cladding on thermal property behavior for additional model validation, and the influence of higher operating surface heat flux / more aggressive irradiation conditions on thermal property behavior. The model developed in FY 2013 and refined in FY 2014 to extract thermal properties of the U-Mo alloy from the measurements conducted on an integral fuel plate sample (i.e., U-Mo alloy with a thin Zr coating and clad in AA6061) continues to performmore » very well. Measurements conducted in FY 2014 on samples irradiated under similar conditions compare well to measurements performed in FY 2013. In general, there is no gross influence of fabrication method on thermal property behavior, although the difference in LEU-Mo foil microstructure does have a noticeable influence on recrystallization of grains during irradiation. Samples irradiated under more aggressive irradiation conditions, e.g., higher surface heat flux, revealed lower thermal conductivity when compared to samples irradiated at moderate surface heat fluxes, with the exception of one sample. This report documents thermal property measurements conducted in FY 2014 and compares results to values obtained from literature and measurements performed in FY 2013, where applicable, along with appropriate discussion.« less
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Nuclear fuel; uranium-molybdenum; thermal properties; heat transfer