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Title: Nuclear fuel elements and method of making same

A nuclear fuel element for a high temperature gas nuclear reactor that has an average operating temperature in excess of 2000.degree. C., and a method of making such a fuel element. The fuel element is characterized by having fissionable fuel material localized and stabilized within pores of a carbon or graphite member by melting the fissionable material to cause it to chemically react with the carbon walls of the pores. The fissionable fuel material is further stabilized and localized within the pores of the graphite member by providing one or more coatings of pyrolytic carbon or diamond surrounding the porous graphite member so that each layer defines a successive barrier against migration of the fissionable fuel from the pores, and so that the outermost layer of pyrolytic carbon or diamond forms a barrier between the fissionable material and the moderating gases used in an associated high temperature gas reactor. The method of the invention provides for making such new elements either as generally spherically elements, or as flexible filaments, or as other relatively small-sized fuel elements that are particularly suited for use in high temperature gas reactors.
Inventors:
 [1]
  1. (Bayport, NY)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
868185
Assignee:
Associated Universities, Inc. (Washington, DC) BNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5094804
Contract Number:
AC02-76CH00016
Research Org:
ASSOC UNIVERSITIES INC
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
nuclear; fuel; elements; method; element; temperature; gas; reactor; average; operating; excess; 2000; degree; characterized; fissionable; material; localized; stabilized; pores; carbon; graphite; melting; chemically; react; walls; providing; coatings; pyrolytic; diamond; surrounding; porous; layer; defines; successive; barrier; migration; outermost; forms; moderating; gases; associated; provides; spherically; flexible; filaments; relatively; small-sized; particularly; suited; reactors; chemically react; moderating gases; pyrolytic carbon; temperature gas; particularly suited; fuel material; fuel elements; fuel element; nuclear fuel; nuclear reactor; operating temperature; fissionable material; porous graphite; outermost layer; fissionable fuel; /376/