Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2005 International RERTR Meeting
BWXT COMMERCIALIZATION ACTIVITIES FOR GTRI LEU U-MO FUELS
M.J. Nilles, G.R. Gale
and R.J. Kunz
BWX Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 785
Lynchburg, VA 24505
BWX Technologies (BWXT), the United States’ research reactor fuel supplier for plate type fuel, has been contracted to provide commercialization support activities under the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) program to develop and qualify low enrichment uranium (LEU), high density fuels suitable for most of the world’s research reactors by the end of 2010. The program’s main effort has been testing of uranium-molybdenum alloy fuels (U-Mo), and in light of recent fuel failures with dispersion type fuels, emphasis has now been placed on developing modified and alternative fuels.
BWXT’s contract scope entails identifying requirements and planning the transition to the new LEU fuels. As there is no clearly preferred fuel technology at this point, multiple commercialization paths must be evaluated. Our baseline approach assumes the fuel is monolithic U-10Mo, and the fuel meat and aluminum alloy plate are hot isostatic pressed (HIP) together. Preliminary results are supportive of this method, however, there is potential for significant interaction between the fuel meat and aluminum alloy plate during the HIP process. Alternative bonding methods, e.g. friction stir welding are being evaluated, as well as modifying the baseline HIP parameters. Additionally, modified dispersed fuel systems are considered.
Aspects of each fuel technology and their manufacturing impact are presented and discussed.
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Dr. Jordi Roglans-Ribas
Technical Director, RERTR Department
Nuclear Engineering Division – 362
Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439
Fax: +1 630-252-5161