The EBR-II X501 Minor Actinide Burning Experiment Page: 9 of 11
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zone is zirconium depleted, and the central zone is enriched in zirconium and depleted in uranium.
Plutonium content remains relatively uniform. Americium appears in the WDS traces as features with high
elemental concentrations, generally depleted in U, Pu, and Zr (the other major elemental constituents). The
morphology of the americium-rich phases cannot be determined from existing micrographs, and other
elemental constituents, such as fission product and impurity elements were not analyzed during the
examination. Comparison of the preirradiation and postirradiation WDS line scans suggests that the
americium-rich features formed during irradiation. Americium is present only in the uranium-depleted
central and outer zones, indicating that americium migration has occurred along with the migration of
uranium and zirconium. Local radial redistribution of americium to the cladding inner wall does not occur;
however these results do not rule out the possibility of condensation of americium in the plenum region
above the fuel column.
fic . 21 4 c 7 n 606 " e
1__J_ _ _7
Figure 9. (a) Postirradiation optical image of MA-bearing fuel. (b) WDS line scans showing
distribution of actinides and Zr.
Plenum gas sampling results were combined with ORIGEN calculations to estimate the fission gas and
helium release rates from the fuel. Results are shown in
Table 3. Helium generation is principally due to a sequence of neutron capture by 241Am, and
subsequent decay of the 242Cm product to 238Pu by alpha particle emission. The amount of He introduced
as plenum fill gas was estimated based on pressure ratios between fill gas and the quantity of radioactive
Xe tag gas measured by counting Xe activity. Based on these estimates, it appears that approximately 90%
of the helium gas produced was released to the plenum. Fission gas release was 79%, typical of U-Pu-Zr
fuel at this burnup.
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Carmack, Jon; Hayes, S. L.; Meyer, M. K. & Tsai, H. The EBR-II X501 Minor Actinide Burning Experiment, article, June 1, 2008; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893878/m1/9/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.