Analysis of the swelling behavior of U-alloys Page: 4 of 15
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ANALYSIS OF THE SWELLING BEHAVIOR OF U-ALLOYS
J. Rest, G. L. Hofman, and K. L. Coffey
Argonne National Laboratory
I. Konovalov and A. Maslov
Available data on two alloys from the EBR-II driver fuel development program have
been utilized in the construction and validation of mechanistic models aimed at elucidating
swelling mechanisms in high density uranium alloys. Swelling predictions are made under ATR
conditions for U-1OMo fuels, currently under irradiation in the ATR, and for U-1OZr.
Detailed postirradiation data on uranium alloys irradiated at the relatively low
temperatures of interest to the RERTR program are not available to guide us in the selection of
suitable high density LEU fuel prospects. We have, thus far, relied on low-burnup swelling data
and metallurgical experience to select basically two groups of alloys for our test matrix. One
group consists of metastable yU (bcc) alloys - chiefly U-Mo, while the other group comprises
several two-phase alloys of U-ZrNb in which the two phases (ctU and SZrNb) exist in a very fine
lamellar microstructure. The selection of these, basically very different, alloys has its roots in
different interpretations of the controlling swelling mechanisms taken by Russian and U.S
groups that are jointly involved in the development of high density LEU fuels.
For the swelling modeling work presented in this paper, we have utilized available data
on two alloys from the EBR-II driver fuel development. One alloy, U-5 w/o fs (basically U-3Ru-
2Mo, fs=fissium), albeit not a stabilized single-phase y alloy, does contain the yU phase as one of
its three phases. A typical example of the microstructure of U-5fs taken from the midplane
region of the EBR-II core is shown in Fig. 1. The irradiation temperature of this sample was
-600*C and the burnup 0.8% of all U atoms. The apparently randomly oriented grain structure is
very fine, consisting of aU (white), U2Ru (light gray) an intermetallic phase, and U2Mo (dark
gray) the ordered form yU-Mo. The order-disorder temperature is around 600*C, but at the
prevailing high fission rate in EBR-II the phase is likely disordered at any temperature. It is of
interest to note that
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Rest, J.; Hofman, G.L.; Coffey, K.L.; Konovalov, I. & Maslov, A. Analysis of the swelling behavior of U-alloys, report, October 1, 1997; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc693520/m1/4/: accessed July 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.