NuFuel & MMSNF 2015

First Workshop on Research into Nuclear Fuel in Europe
and Materials Modeling and Simulation for Nuclear Fuels Workshop
Karlsruhe, Germany, November 16th to 18th, 2015

Updated: Tue 08 Dec 2015, 14:27

Poster 3.3: Interaction study between MOX pellets and lead-bismuth eutectic coolant

Jean-Francois Vigier, Karin Popa, Vaclav Tyrpekl, Sebastien Gardeur, Daniel Freis, Joseph Somers
  • European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU), Hermann-von-Helmholtz Platz 1, PO Box 2340, DE–76125 Karlsruhe, Germany


The MYRRHA reactor is an accelerator driven system (ADS) in development. The sub-critical core of this reactor contains uranium-plutonium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel with 30% of PuO2. The coolant is liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE). In this context, interactions tests between MOX and LBE have been performed. The three parameters investigated in this study is the O/M (M=U+Pu) ratio in the fuel with tests on stoichiometric U0.7Pu0.3O2.00 and substoichiometric U0.7Pu0.3O2-x, the temperature (500°C and 800°C), and the oxygen content in the LBE. These tests took place in sealed containers for 50 hours. Thereafter pellet integrity was checked by optical microscope. The presence of potential interaction compounds was investigated with XRD of the pellet surface and SEM analyses of pellet cross sections. Finally, LBE samples were dissolved in acidic solutions to perform ICP-MS analysis and determine the actinide release to the LBE during the tests. In general, the results of these tests show a good compatibility between MOX and LBE without significant reaction detected. Nevertheless, significant actinide release from the pellets was detected for specific conditions.