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Title: As-cast microstructures in U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pins with 5-8 wt.% minor actinides and 0-1.5 wt% rare-earth elements

Abstract

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is investigating U-Pu-Zr alloys with low concentrations of minor actinides (Np and Am) and rare-earth elements (La, Ce, Pr, and Nd) as possible nuclear fuels to be used to transmute minor actinides. Alloys with compositions 60U-20Pu-3Am-2Np-15Zr, 42U-30Pu-5Am-3Np-20Zr, 59U-20Pu-3Am-2Np-1RE-15Zr, 58.5U-20Pu-3Am-2Np-1.5RE-15Zr, 41U-30Pu-5Am-3Np-1RE-20Zr, and 40.5U-30Pu-5Am-3Np-1.5RE-20Zr (where numbers represent weight percents of each element and RE is a rare-earth alloy consisting of 6% La, 16% Pr, 25% Ce, and 53% Nd by weight) were arc-melted and vacuum cast as fuel pins approximately 4 mm in diameter. The as-cast pins were sectioned, polished, and examined by scanning electron microscopy. Each alloy contains high-Zr inclusions surrounded by a high-actinide matrix. Alloys with rare-earth elements also contain inclusions that are high in these elements. Within the matrix, concentrations of U and Zr vary inversely, while concentrations of Np and Pu appear approximately constant. Am occurs in the matrix and with some high-rare-earth inclusions, and occasionally as high-Am inclusions in samples without rare-earth elements. - Research Highlights: {yields}Microstructures consist of high-Zr inclusions surrounded by a high-actinide matrix. {yields}Alloys with rare-earth (RE) elements contain inclusions that are high in REs. {yields}Concentrations of U and Zr vary inversely in the matrix. {yields}Am occurs in themore » matrix and with high-RE inclusions.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22066240
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Materials Characterization
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 61; Journal Issue: 11; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Journal ID: ISSN 1044-5803
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ACTINIDE ALLOYS; CONCENTRATION RATIO; FUEL PINS; IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY; MATRIX MATERIALS; MICROSTRUCTURE; NUCLEAR FUELS; RARE EARTH ADDITIONS; SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; ZIRCONIUM ALLOYS

Citation Formats

Janney, Dawn E., E-mail: dawn.janney@inl.gov, and Kennedy, J. Rory, E-mail: rory.kennedy@inl.gov. As-cast microstructures in U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pins with 5-8 wt.% minor actinides and 0-1.5 wt% rare-earth elements. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1016/J.MATCHAR.2010.07.012.
Janney, Dawn E., E-mail: dawn.janney@inl.gov, & Kennedy, J. Rory, E-mail: rory.kennedy@inl.gov. As-cast microstructures in U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pins with 5-8 wt.% minor actinides and 0-1.5 wt% rare-earth elements. United States. doi:10.1016/J.MATCHAR.2010.07.012.
Janney, Dawn E., E-mail: dawn.janney@inl.gov, and Kennedy, J. Rory, E-mail: rory.kennedy@inl.gov. Mon . "As-cast microstructures in U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pins with 5-8 wt.% minor actinides and 0-1.5 wt% rare-earth elements". United States. doi:10.1016/J.MATCHAR.2010.07.012.
@article{osti_22066240,
title = {As-cast microstructures in U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pins with 5-8 wt.% minor actinides and 0-1.5 wt% rare-earth elements},
author = {Janney, Dawn E., E-mail: dawn.janney@inl.gov and Kennedy, J. Rory, E-mail: rory.kennedy@inl.gov},
abstractNote = {The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is investigating U-Pu-Zr alloys with low concentrations of minor actinides (Np and Am) and rare-earth elements (La, Ce, Pr, and Nd) as possible nuclear fuels to be used to transmute minor actinides. Alloys with compositions 60U-20Pu-3Am-2Np-15Zr, 42U-30Pu-5Am-3Np-20Zr, 59U-20Pu-3Am-2Np-1RE-15Zr, 58.5U-20Pu-3Am-2Np-1.5RE-15Zr, 41U-30Pu-5Am-3Np-1RE-20Zr, and 40.5U-30Pu-5Am-3Np-1.5RE-20Zr (where numbers represent weight percents of each element and RE is a rare-earth alloy consisting of 6% La, 16% Pr, 25% Ce, and 53% Nd by weight) were arc-melted and vacuum cast as fuel pins approximately 4 mm in diameter. The as-cast pins were sectioned, polished, and examined by scanning electron microscopy. Each alloy contains high-Zr inclusions surrounded by a high-actinide matrix. Alloys with rare-earth elements also contain inclusions that are high in these elements. Within the matrix, concentrations of U and Zr vary inversely, while concentrations of Np and Pu appear approximately constant. Am occurs in the matrix and with some high-rare-earth inclusions, and occasionally as high-Am inclusions in samples without rare-earth elements. - Research Highlights: {yields}Microstructures consist of high-Zr inclusions surrounded by a high-actinide matrix. {yields}Alloys with rare-earth (RE) elements contain inclusions that are high in REs. {yields}Concentrations of U and Zr vary inversely in the matrix. {yields}Am occurs in the matrix and with high-RE inclusions.},
doi = {10.1016/J.MATCHAR.2010.07.012},
journal = {Materials Characterization},
issn = {1044-5803},
number = 11,
volume = 61,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {11}
}