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Title: Modeling the Influence of Interaction Layer Formation on Thermal Conductivity of U–Mo Dispersion Fuel

The Global Threat Reduction Initiative Program continues to develop existing and new plate- and rod-type research and test reactor fuels with maximum attainable uranium loadings capable of potentially converting a number of the world’s remaining high-enriched uranium fueled reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel. Currently, the program is focused on assisting with the development and qualification of an even higher density fuel type consisting of a uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) alloy dispersed in an aluminum matrix. Thermal conductivity is an important consideration in determining the operational temperature of the fuel plate and can be influenced by interaction layer formation between the fuel and matrix, porosity that forms during fabrication of the fuel plates, and upon the concentration of the dispersed phase within the matrix. This paper develops and validates a simple model to study the influence of interaction layer formation and conductivity, fuel particle size, and volume fraction of fuel dispersed in the matrix on the effective conductivity of the composite. The model shows excellent agreement with results previously presented in the literature. In particular, the thermal conductivity of the interaction layer does not appear to be important in determining the overall conductivity of the composite, while formation of the interaction layer andmore » subsequent consumption of the matrix reveals a rather significant effect. The effective thermal conductivity of the composite can be influenced by the fuel particle distribution by minimizing interaction layer formation and preserving the higher thermal conductivity matrix.« less
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Publication Date:
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 618:7-13
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
U-Mo; dispersion; nuclear fuel; thermal conductivity