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Title: Effect of stress evolution on microstructural behavior in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel [Effect of stress on microstructural evolution in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel]

Abstract

U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel irradiated to high burnup at high power (high fission rate) exhibited microstructural changes such as deformation of the fuel particles, pore growth, and rupture of the Al matrix. The driving force for these microstructural changes was meat swelling caused by a combination of fuel particle swelling and interaction layer growth. Five miniplates with well-recorded fabrication data and irradiation conditions were selected, and their PIE data was analyzed. ABAQUS finite element analysis (FEA) was utilized to simulate the microstructural evolution of the plates. Using the simulation results shear stress, effective stress and hydrostatic stress exerted on both the fuel particles and the Al matrix were determined. The effects of fabrication and irradiation variables on stress-induced microstructural evolutions, such as pore growth in the interaction layers and Al matrix rupture, were investigated. The observed microstructural changes were consistent with the calculated stress distribution in the meat.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3];  [4];  [1]
  1. Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan (Republic of Korea)
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  3. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  4. Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Republic of Korea)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1373747
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1396894
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357; AC-02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 487; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; FEA simulation; U-Mo dispersion fuel; meat swelling; mechanical analysis; microstructural evolution

Citation Formats

Jeong, G. Y., Kim, Yeon Soo, Jamison, L. M., Robinson, A. B., Lee, K. H., and Sohn, Dong -Seong. Effect of stress evolution on microstructural behavior in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel [Effect of stress on microstructural evolution in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel]. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.02.023.
Jeong, G. Y., Kim, Yeon Soo, Jamison, L. M., Robinson, A. B., Lee, K. H., & Sohn, Dong -Seong. Effect of stress evolution on microstructural behavior in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel [Effect of stress on microstructural evolution in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel]. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.02.023.
Jeong, G. Y., Kim, Yeon Soo, Jamison, L. M., Robinson, A. B., Lee, K. H., and Sohn, Dong -Seong. Mon . "Effect of stress evolution on microstructural behavior in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel [Effect of stress on microstructural evolution in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel]". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.02.023. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1373747.
@article{osti_1373747,
title = {Effect of stress evolution on microstructural behavior in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel [Effect of stress on microstructural evolution in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel]},
author = {Jeong, G. Y. and Kim, Yeon Soo and Jamison, L. M. and Robinson, A. B. and Lee, K. H. and Sohn, Dong -Seong},
abstractNote = {U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel irradiated to high burnup at high power (high fission rate) exhibited microstructural changes such as deformation of the fuel particles, pore growth, and rupture of the Al matrix. The driving force for these microstructural changes was meat swelling caused by a combination of fuel particle swelling and interaction layer growth. Five miniplates with well-recorded fabrication data and irradiation conditions were selected, and their PIE data was analyzed. ABAQUS finite element analysis (FEA) was utilized to simulate the microstructural evolution of the plates. Using the simulation results shear stress, effective stress and hydrostatic stress exerted on both the fuel particles and the Al matrix were determined. The effects of fabrication and irradiation variables on stress-induced microstructural evolutions, such as pore growth in the interaction layers and Al matrix rupture, were investigated. The observed microstructural changes were consistent with the calculated stress distribution in the meat.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.02.023},
journal = {Journal of Nuclear Materials},
number = C,
volume = 487,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Feb 20 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Mon Feb 20 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • 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, approximately 70% peak burn-up). After the irradiation, the E-FUTURE plates were examined non-destructively and found to have pillowed inmore » 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.« less
  • Low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel plates for high power materials test reactors (MTR) are composed of nominally spherical uranium-molybdenum (U-Mo) particles within an aluminum matrix. Fresh U-Mo particles typically range between 10 and 100 mu m in diameter, with particle volume fractions up to 50%. As the fuel ages, reaction-diffusion processes cause the formation and growth of interaction layers that surround the fuel particles. The growth rate depends upon the temperature and radiation environment. The cellular automaton algorithm described in this paper can synthesize realistic random fuel-particle structures and simulate the growth of the intermetallic interaction layers. Examples in the presentmore » paper pack approximately 1000 particles into three-dimensional rectangular fuel structures that are approximately 1 mm on each side. The computational approach is designed to yield synthetic microstructures consistent with images from actual fuel plates and is validated by comparison with empirical data on actual fuel plates. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.« less
  • Irradiation performance of U-Mo fuel particles dispersed in Al matrix is stable in terms of fuel swelling and is suitable for the conversion of research and test reactors from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU). However, tests of the fuel at high temperatures and high burnups revealed obstacles caused by the interaction layers forming between the fuel particle and matrix. In some cases, fission gas filled pores grow and interconnect in the interdiffusion layer resulting in fuel plate failure. Postirradiation observations are made to examine the behavior of the interdiffusion layers. The interdiffusion layers show a fluid-likemore » behavior characteristic of amorphous materials. In the amorphous interdiffusion layers, fission gas diffusivity is high and the material viscosity is low so that the fission gas pores readily form and grow. Based on the observations, a pore formation mechanism is proposed and potential remedies to suppress the pore growth are also introduced.« less