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Title: The use of U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ dispersed in aluminum in plate-type fuel elements for research and test reactors

A high-density fuel based on U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ dispersed in aluminum has been developed and tested for use in converting plate-type research and test reactors from the use of highly enriched uranium to the use of low-enriched uranium. Results of preirradiation testing and the irradiation and postirradiation examination of miniature fuel plates and full-sized fuel elements are summarized. Swelling of the U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ fuel particles is a linear function of the fission density in the particle to well beyond the fission density achievable in low-enriched fuels. U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/ particle swelling rate is approximately the same as that of the commonly used UAl/sub x/ fuel particle. The presence of minor amounts of U/sub 3/Si or uranium solid solution in the fuel result in greater, but still acceptable, fuel swelling. Blister threshold temperatures are at least as high as those of currently used fuels. An exothermic reaction occurs near the aluminum melting temperature, but the measured energy releases were low enough not to substantially worsen the consequences of an accident. U/sub 3/Si/sub 2/-aluminum dispersion fuel with uranium densities up to at least 4.8 Mg/m/sup 3/ is a suitable LEU fuel for typical plate-type research and test reactors. 42 refs., 28more » figs., 7 tabs.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5688807
Report Number(s):
ANL/RERTR/TM-11
ON: DE88003714; TRN: 88-002731
DOE Contract Number:
W-31109-ENG-38
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products. Original copy available until stock is exhausted
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab., IL (USA); Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ALUMINIUM ALLOYS; POROSITY; SWELLING; DISPERSION NUCLEAR FUELS; MICROSTRUCTURE; PHYSICAL RADIATION EFFECTS; FUEL PLATES; SILICON ALLOYS; URANIUM ALLOYS; BLISTERS; BURNUP; CORROSION RESISTANCE; FABRICATION; HEAT TREATMENTS; INTERMETALLIC COMPOUNDS; MATERIALS TESTING; MATRIX MATERIALS; PHASE DIAGRAMS; SLIGHTLY ENRICHED URANIUM; TEST REACTORS; THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY; URANIUM SILICIDES; ACTINIDE ALLOYS; ACTINIDE COMPOUNDS; ACTINIDES; ALLOYS; CRYSTAL STRUCTURE; DIAGRAMS; ELEMENTS; ENERGY SOURCES; ENRICHED URANIUM; FUEL ELEMENTS; FUELS; ISOTOPE ENRICHED MATERIALS; MATERIALS; METALS; NUCLEAR FUELS; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; RADIATION EFFECTS; REACTOR COMPONENTS; REACTOR MATERIALS; REACTORS; RESEARCH AND TEST REACTORS; SILICIDES; SILICON COMPOUNDS; SOLID FUELS; TESTING; THERMODYNAMIC PROPERTIES; URANIUM; URANIUM COMPOUNDS 220600* -- Nuclear Reactor Technology-- Research, Test & Experimental Reactors; 360101 -- Metals & Alloys-- Preparation & Fabrication; 360104 -- Metals & Alloys-- Physical Properties; 050700 -- Nuclear Fuels-- Fuels Production & Properties