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Title: Neutronic fuel element fabrication

Abstract

This disclosure describes a method for metallurgically bonding a complete leak-tight enclosure to a matrix-type fuel element penetrated longitudinally by a multiplicity of coolant channels. Coolant tubes containing solid filler pins are disposed in the coolant channels. A leak-tight metal enclosure is then formed about the entire assembly of fuel matrix, coolant tubes and pins. The completely enclosed and sealed assembly is exposed to a high temperature and pressure gas environment to effect a metallurgical bond between all contacting surfaces therein. The ends of the assembly are then machined away to expose the pin ends which are chemically leached from the coolant tubes to leave the coolant tubes with internal coolant passageways. The invention described herein was made in the course of, or under, a contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. It relates generally to fuel elements for neutronic reactors and more particularly to a method for providing a leak-tight metal enclosure for a high-performance matrix-type fuel element penetrated longitudinally by a multiplicity of coolant tubes. The planned utilization of nuclear energy in high-performance, compact-propulsion and mobile power-generation systems has necessitated the development of fuel elements capable of operating at high power densities. High power densities in turn requiremore » fuel elements having high thermal conductivities and good fuel retention capabilities at high temperatures. A metal clad fuel element containing a ceramic phase of fuel intimately mixed with and bonded to a continuous refractory metal matrix has been found to satisfy the above requirements. Metal coolant tubes penetrate the matrix to afford internal cooling to the fuel element while providing positive fuel retention and containment of fission products generated within the fuel matrix. Metal header plates are bonded to the coolant tubes at each end of the fuel element and a metal cladding or can completes the fuel-matrix enclosure by encompassing the sides of the fuel element between the header plates.« less

Inventors:
 [1]
  1. (Cincinnati, OH)
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
920050
Patent Number(s):
6,697,448
Application Number:
04/594,943
Assignee:
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy (Washington, DC) OSTI
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Korton, George. Neutronic fuel element fabrication. United States: N. p., 2004. Web.
Korton, George. Neutronic fuel element fabrication. United States.
Korton, George. Tue . "Neutronic fuel element fabrication". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/920050.
@article{osti_920050,
title = {Neutronic fuel element fabrication},
author = {Korton, George},
abstractNote = {This disclosure describes a method for metallurgically bonding a complete leak-tight enclosure to a matrix-type fuel element penetrated longitudinally by a multiplicity of coolant channels. Coolant tubes containing solid filler pins are disposed in the coolant channels. A leak-tight metal enclosure is then formed about the entire assembly of fuel matrix, coolant tubes and pins. The completely enclosed and sealed assembly is exposed to a high temperature and pressure gas environment to effect a metallurgical bond between all contacting surfaces therein. The ends of the assembly are then machined away to expose the pin ends which are chemically leached from the coolant tubes to leave the coolant tubes with internal coolant passageways. The invention described herein was made in the course of, or under, a contract with the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. It relates generally to fuel elements for neutronic reactors and more particularly to a method for providing a leak-tight metal enclosure for a high-performance matrix-type fuel element penetrated longitudinally by a multiplicity of coolant tubes. The planned utilization of nuclear energy in high-performance, compact-propulsion and mobile power-generation systems has necessitated the development of fuel elements capable of operating at high power densities. High power densities in turn require fuel elements having high thermal conductivities and good fuel retention capabilities at high temperatures. A metal clad fuel element containing a ceramic phase of fuel intimately mixed with and bonded to a continuous refractory metal matrix has been found to satisfy the above requirements. Metal coolant tubes penetrate the matrix to afford internal cooling to the fuel element while providing positive fuel retention and containment of fission products generated within the fuel matrix. Metal header plates are bonded to the coolant tubes at each end of the fuel element and a metal cladding or can completes the fuel-matrix enclosure by encompassing the sides of the fuel element between the header plates.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Feb 24 00:00:00 EST 2004},
month = {Tue Feb 24 00:00:00 EST 2004}
}

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