Ceramographic Examinations of Irradiated AGR-1 Fuel Compacts

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The AGR 1 experiment involved irradiating 72 cylindrical fuel compacts containing tri-structural isotropic (TRISO)-coated particles to a peak burnup of 19.5% fissions per initial metal atom with no in-pile failures observed out of almost 300,000 particles. Six irradiated AGR 1 fuel compacts were selected for microscopy that span a range of irradiation conditions (temperature, burnup, and fast fluence). These six compacts also included all four TRISO coating variations irradiated in the AGR experiment. The six compacts were cross-sectioned both transversely and longitudinally, mounted, ground, and polished after development of careful techniques for preserving particle structures against preparation damage. From 36 ... continued below

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Demkowicz, Paul; Ploger, Scott; Hunn, John & Kehn, Jay S. September 1, 2012.

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The AGR 1 experiment involved irradiating 72 cylindrical fuel compacts containing tri-structural isotropic (TRISO)-coated particles to a peak burnup of 19.5% fissions per initial metal atom with no in-pile failures observed out of almost 300,000 particles. Six irradiated AGR 1 fuel compacts were selected for microscopy that span a range of irradiation conditions (temperature, burnup, and fast fluence). These six compacts also included all four TRISO coating variations irradiated in the AGR experiment. The six compacts were cross-sectioned both transversely and longitudinally, mounted, ground, and polished after development of careful techniques for preserving particle structures against preparation damage. From 36 to 79 particles within each cross section were exposed near enough to midplane for optical microscopy of kernel, buffer, and coating behavior. The microstructural analysis focused on kernel swelling and porosity, buffer densification and fracture, debonding between the buffer and inner pyrolytic carbon (IPyC) layers, and fractures in the IPyC and SiC layers. Three basic particle morphologies were established according to the extent of bonding between the buffer and IPyC layers: complete debonding along the interface (Type A), no debonding along the interface (Type B), and partial debonding (Type AB). These basic morphologies were subdivided according to whether the buffer stayed intact or fractured. The resulting six characteristic morphologies were used to classify particles within each cross section, but no spatial patterns were clearly observed in any of the cross-sectional morphology maps. Although positions of particle types appeared random within compacts, examining a total of 931 classified particles allowed other relationships among morphological types to be established.

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  • Report No.: INL/EXT-12-25301
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • DOI: 10.2172/1072396 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1072396
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc844574

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  • September 1, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 1:47 p.m.

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Demkowicz, Paul; Ploger, Scott; Hunn, John & Kehn, Jay S. Ceramographic Examinations of Irradiated AGR-1 Fuel Compacts, report, September 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc844574/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.