Post-irradiation examination of AlFeNi cladded U3Si2 fuel plates irradiated under severe conditions

Ann Leenaers, Edgar Koonen, Yves Parthoens, Patrick Lemoine, Sven Van den Berghe

Research outputpeer-review


Three full size AlFeNi cladded U3Si2 fuel plates were irradiated in the BR2 reactor of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCKCEN) under relatively severe, but well defined conditions. The irradiation was part of the qualification campaign for the fuel to be used in the future Jules Horowitz reactor in Cadarache, France. After the irradiation, the fuel plates were submitted to an extensive post-irradiation campaign in the hot cell laboratory of SCKCEN. The PIE shows that the fuel plates withstood the irradiation successfully, as no detrimental defects have been found. At the cladding surface, a multilayered corrosion oxide film has formed. The U–Al–Si layer resulting from the interaction between the U3Si2 fuel and the Al matrix, has been quantified as U(Al,Si)4.6. It is found that the composition of the fuel particles is not homogenous; zones of USi and U3Si2 are observed and measured. The fission gas-related bubbles generated in both phases show a different morphology. In the USi fuel, the bubbles are small and numerous while in U3Si2 the bubbles are larger but there are fewer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-251
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008

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