April 2, 2024

PNNL's Characterization Summary for MP-2 Experiment


Characterization of as-fabricated fuel was performed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in accordance with the characterization plan for the fabrication of U 10Mo plate fuel for the U.S. High Performance Research Reactor conversion program’s Fuel Fabrication Pillar (INL 2021). Similar characterization work is also being performed at Idaho National Laboratory to provide a detailed understanding of the as-fabricated foils that would be irradiated in the Mini-Plate 2 (MP 2) experiment. Under the MP 2 characterization plan, foils are studied that have different fabrication parameters (such as rolling condition, rolling thickness reduction, co-rolling with Zr layers). Similar samples from master foils were sent to both the organizations, so that the testing and analysis can be done independently using similar equipment and standardized measurement and analysis procedures. A final, consolidated report will be prepared based on this work and will summarize all the information obtained from the two laboratories. The MP 2 experiment will provide an opportunity to understand the effects of processing conditions on the final fuel microstructure, to compare results obtained independently, and achieve a two-way validation. In Fiscal Year 2022, PNNL received five MP 2 cast (PD STD2) samples to examine the foils’ chemistry and microstructure. For each cast sample, PNNL received samples from three different locations. PNNL also received and characterized 24 U 10Mo foil samples, by sectioning four pieces/specimens from each foil, in accordance with the MP 2 Characterization Plan (INL 2021). These 24 samples consist of four types of foils from BWX Technologies: 0.047 in. thick hot-rolled and annealed samples with Zr layers; 0.025 in. thick cold-rolled and annealed samples with Zr layers; 0.0105 in. thick cold-rolled and annealed samples with Zr layers. Along with these, PNNL also received four plates with Zr layers that were 0.025 in. and 0.0105 in. thick. This report describes the results of PNNL’s MP 2 foil characterization. Microstructure, Mo homogeneity, carbide fraction and morphology, U 10Mo foil thickness, and Zr thickness were evaluated in both the longitudinal and transverse directions for all the foils of the three different thicknesses.

Published: April 2, 2024


Kalsar R., B.J. Schuessler, A. Soulami, and V.V. Joshi. 2022. PNNL's Characterization Summary for MP-2 Experiment Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

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