AbstractMonolithic uranium - 10 wt.% molybdenum (U-10Mo) is a promising high-assay low-enriched uranium fuel system for nuclear reactors used in research, medical isotope production, and remote power applications. During manufacturing, AA6061 cladding is bonded to the U-10Mo fuel plate via hot isostatic pressing, during which diffusion and fuel/cladding chemical interaction occurs at plate edges. The microstructure and microchemistry changes that occur at fuel/cladding interfaces are important to understand as a function of process parameters to develop a reliable fuel fabrication process and to meet the desired specifications. Here, microstructural and microchemical changes are studied using complementary electron microscopy and atom probe tomography for two manufactured fuel plates with varied hot isostatic pressing (HIP) parameters. Results highlight that modifying thermomechanical processing parameters significantly changed the interaction layer thickness between U-10Mo and AA6061 by an order of magnitude. In addition to this the distribution and concentration of elements (i.e., Al, Si, Mg) from cladding to fuel was also investigated.
Published: September 7, 2023