Progress on Matrix SiC Processing and Properties of Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Fuel Form

by K Terrani, et al.


Backscattered electron image of microstructure in (a) the outer region and (b) the inner core of the pressureless sintered pellet. Image (c) is the hot-pressed pellet. All nanopowder feedstock with 6 wt% oxide additives. (hi-res image)
The consolidation mechanism and resulting properties of the silicon carbide (SiC) matrix of fully ceramic microencapsulated (FCM) fuel form are discussed. The matrix is produced via the nano-infiltration transient

eutectic-forming (NITE) process. Coefficient of thermal expansion, thermal conductivity, and strength characteristics of this SiC matrix have been characterized in the unirradiated state. An ad hoc methodology for estimation of thermal conductivity of the neutron-irradiated NITE–SiC matrix is also provided to aid fuel performance modeling efforts specific to this concept. Finally, specific processing methods developed for production of an optimal and reliable fuel form using this process are summarized. These various sections collectively report the progress made to date on production of optimal FCM fuel form to enable its application in light water and advanced reactors.

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Publication Citation

J. Nucl Materials 2015 pp na