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Summary of the Postirradiation Examination of the First Samples from a MiniFuel Irradiation...

Publication Type
ORNL Report
Publication Date

An overview of postirradiation examination results for uranium nitride kernels and uranium nitride coated particles irradiated in the High Flux Isotope Reactor are presented. This is the first postirradiation examination of the MiniFuel irradiation vehicle that was recently developed to rapidly screen different nuclear fuel concepts. Observations on fission gas release, irradiation conditions and microstructure of the irradiated fuel show good fuel performance at the low burnup achieved in this initial irradiation. The burnup measured by mass spectrometry ranged from 5.9 to 10 MWd/kgU as was achieved after only 68 effective full power days of irradiation. Results from silicon carbide thermometry measurements further benchmarked the MiniFuel irradiation vehicle and indicated fuel was irradiated at temperatures ranging from 410-460°C. Extensive microstructural characterization on the irradiated fuel was performed and no significant irradiation induced changes were observed.