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Title: Production of LEU Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Fuel for Irradiation Testing

Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel consists of tristructural isotropic (TRISO) fuel particles embedded inside a SiC matrix. This fuel inherently possesses multiple barriers to fission product release, namely the various coating layers in the TRISO fuel particle as well as the dense SiC matrix that hosts these particles. This coupled with the excellent oxidation resistance of the SiC matrix and the SiC coating layer in the TRISO particle designate this concept as an accident tolerant fuel (ATF). The FCM fuel takes advantage of uranium nitride kernels instead of oxide or oxide-carbide kernels used in high temperature gas reactors to enhance heavy metal loading in the highly moderated LWRs. Production of these kernels with appropriate density, coating layer development to produce UN TRISO particles, and consolidation of these particles inside a SiC matrix have been codified thanks to significant R&D supported by US DOE Fuel Cycle R&D program. Also, surrogate FCM pellets (pellets with zirconia instead of uranium-bearing kernels) have been neutron irradiated and the stability of the matrix and coating layer under LWR irradiation conditions have been established. Currently the focus is on production of LEU (7.3% U-235 enrichment) FCM pellets to be utilized for irradiation testing. The irradiation ismore » planned at INL s Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). This is a critical step in development of this fuel concept to establish the ability of this fuel to retain fission products under prototypical irradiation conditions.« less
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  1. ORNL
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DOE Contract Number:
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Resource Relation:
Conference: TopFuel 2016, Boise, ID, USA, 20160910, 20160910
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States