A new type of high density fuel is needed for the conversion of research and test reactors from high to lower enriched uranium. The most promising one is a dispersion of atomized uranium-molybdenum (U–Mo) particles in an Al matrix. However, during in-pile irradiation the growth of an interaction layer between the U–Mo and the Al matrix strongly limits the fuel’s performance. To improve the in-pile behaviour, the U–Mo particles can be coated with protective layers. The SELENIUM fuel development project consists of the production, irradiation and post-irradiation examination of 2 flat, full-size dispersion fuel plates containing respectively Si and ZrN coated U–Mo atomized powder dispersed in a pure Al matrix. In this paper X-ray diffraction analyses of the Si and ZrN layers after deposition, fuel plate manufacturing and thermal annealing are reported..