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Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2005 International RERTR Meeting

LESSONS FROM THE ATOMS-FOR-PEACE RESEARCH REACTOR FUELS PROGRAM, 1955-1965

D.L. Moses, S.J. Zinkle, T.J. Huxford, J.L. Binder

Oak Ridge National Laboratory
One Bethel Valley Road
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6050 USA

ABSTRACT

This paper describes relevant findings from 1950-1965 work on both high-density LEU fuels and high-performance HEU fuels and how these findings relate to current work being performed to develop and qualify LEU fuel for the high-performance research reactors. The problems experienced in fabricating aluminum fuels with heavy uranium loading are reviewed. The adverse impacts of aluminide formation and densification observed in this early work are summarized. The effect of adding silicon and other elements to minimize or eliminate the problem in aluminum matrix fuels, which was studied and patented by Oak Ridge National Laboratory staff in 1958-60, is assessed. In the early 1960s, ORNL also fabricated aluminum clad HEU fuels using niobium coated urania-zirconia particles and evaluated their irradiation performance at very high burn-up (65 atom percent). Some comments are also made on equilibrium versus non-equilibrium phase formation in a radiation environment.


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