April 15, 2021
Journal Article

Thermal properties of U-Mo alloys irradiated under high fission power density

Abstract

A variety of physical and thermal property measurements made on irradiated U-Mo alloy monolithic fuel samples with a Zr diffusion barrier and clad in Al alloy 6061 are reported. These properties form the basis for additional investigations in thermal behavior of U-Mo fuel under high performance research reactor irradiation conditions. Measurements were performed on samples harvested from fuel plates irradiated under high fission power density and surface heat flux and complement previous measurements on samples subjected to moderate fission power density and surface heat flux. Specific heat capacity of irradiated monolithic U-Mo increases with increasing temperature and fission density, but carries large uncertainties associated with thickness measurements used to determine the mass fraction of the layer constituents for extraction of the U-Mo specific heat capacity, specifically the very thin and nonuniform Zr diffusion barrier. Density of irradiated monolithic U-Mo decreases with increasing fission density resulting from fission gas swelling and porosity formation. Thermal diffusivity of irradiated monolithic U-Mo increased with increasing temperature and decreased with increasing fission density. Thermal conductivity of irradiated monolithic U-Mo increased with increasing temperature, and in general, appeared to decrease and become less sensitive to temperature with increasing fission density. Thermal conductivity measurements compared to a semi-empirical model agreed within ±30%. It is suspected that the main driver in deviation between model calculations and measurements is the fission gas swelling determination, which does not account for fission power density or irradiation temperature.

Revised: February 9, 2021 | Published: April 15, 2021

Citation

Burkes D., I.J. Schwerdt, T.K. Huber, H. Breitkreutz, C. Reiter, W. Petry, and J. Schulthess, et al. 2021. "Thermal properties of U-Mo alloys irradiated under high fission power density." Journal of Nuclear Materials 547. PNNL-SA-154644. doi:10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.152823