The UMo/Al dispersion fuel in plate form is considered for the conversion of high-performance research reactors in Europe. In the framework of the UMo fuel qualification program, the adequate margin of safety performance by considering several technological solutions associated with the fabrication parameters, such as heat-treatment of the UMo particles, coating with a diffusion barrier material and powder size distribution as some examples. All these parameters, along with the effect of the hot-rolling process were evaluated by means of image processing and detailed microstructural characterizations for fresh samples i.e. prior to irradiation tests. Principle macroscopic features of powder batches include the size and shape distributions and coating surface examinations. Microscale investigations explored both the coating and kernel microstructures as well as the interface layer between them. Finally, nanoscale analyses examined the UMo–coating interface. The extensive stresses associated with the hot-rolling process have a significant impact on the deformation of the UMo kernels and the degradation of the coated film. The UMo kernels mostly lost their spherical shape for faceted and elongated shapes whereas three types of film degradations were identified including cracks, chippings and delamination.