Microstructural evolution of U(Mo)–Al(Si) dispersion fuel under irradiation – Destructive analyses of the LEONIDAS E-FUTURE plates

Ann Leenaers, Sven Van den Berghe, Jelle Van Eyken, Edgar Koonen, Francois Charollais, Patrick Lemoine, Yoann Calzavara, Herve Guyon, Christophe Jarousse, Dominic Geslin, Daniel Wachs, Dennis Keiser, Adam Robinson, Gerard Hofman, Yong-Soo Kim

Research outputpeer-review


Several irradiation experiments have confirmed the positive effect of adding Si to the matrix of an U(Mo) dispersion fuel plate on its in-pile irradiation behavior. E-FUTURE, the first experiment of the LEONIDAS program, was performed to select an optimum Si concentration and fuel plate heat treatment parameters for further qualification. It consisted of the irradiation of 4 distinct (regarding Si content and heat treatments), full size flat fuel plates in the BR2 reactor under bounding conditions (470 W/cm2 peak BOL power, 70% peak burn-up). After the irradiation, the E-FUTURE plates were examined non-destructively and found to have pillowed in the highest burn-up positions. The destructive post-irradiation examination confirmed that the fuel evolves in a stable way up to a burn-up of 60%235U. Even in the deformed area (pillow) the U(Mo) fuel itself shows stable behavior and remaining matrix material was present. From the calculation of the volume fractions, the positive effect of a higher Si amount added to the matrix and the higher annealing temperature can be derived.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-448
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - Jun 2013

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