Argonne National Laboratory
Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
Nuclear Engineering Division at Argonne
U.S. Department of Energy

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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
1997 International RERTR Meeting


D. F. Sears and N. Wang

Fuel Development Branch
Chalk River Laboratories
Chalk River, Ontario KOJ 1J0


This paper describes the post-irradiation examination of 4 intact low enrichment uranium (LEU) fuel rods from the national research universal (NRU) reactor at the Chalk River Laboratories of AECL. The rods were irradiated during the period 1993 through 1995, under typical driver fuel operating conditions in NRU, i.e., nominal D2O coolant inlet temperature 37E C, inlet pressure 654 kPa and mass flow 12.4 L/s. Irradiation exposures ranged from 147 to 251 full-power days, corresponding to 40 to 84 atom % 235U burnup. The maximum rod power was ~2 MW, with element linear power ratings up to 68 kW/m. Post-irradiation examinations, conducted in 1997, focused on optical metallography to measure cladding oxide thickness and fuel core and cladding microstructural examinations. The cladding oxide was approximately 24 : m thick at the mid-plane of fuel rods irradiated to 251 full-power days, with small areas up to 34 : m thick on the fins. The cladding retained significant ductility after irradiation, and its microstructure appeared unchanged. Fuel core diametral increases were small (up to 4%) and within the range previously observed on Al-61 wt% U3Si fuel irradiated in the NRU reactor.

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Dr. D. F. Sears
Chalk River Laboratories
Chalk River, Ontario K0J 1J0
Tel.: 613-584-3311
Fax: 613-584-3250

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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:32 +0200