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

Talk 6.5: Simulations and Experiments of U-Mo/Al and U-Mo/Mg Research Reactor Fuels

M. Kulakov1, M. Piro2, A. Williams2, L. Xiao2, Michael J. Welland2 and N. Wang3
  • 1: Fuel Development Branch, Canadian Nuclear Laboratory, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada
  • 2: Fuel and Fuel Channel Safety Branch, Canadian Nuclear Laboratory, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada
  • 3: Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Facility, Canadian Nuclear Laboratory, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada


Markus Piro1, A. Williams1, M. Kulakov2 and N. Wang3

This work presents numerical predictions of the thermal behaviour of U-Mo/Mg pin-type research reactor fuels to support fuel development, performance and safety analyses at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. To circumvent fuel failures experienced with U-Mo/Al fuels resulting from the formation of a UAlx interaction layer in-reactor, U-Mo/Mg fuels have been proposed, since Mg is for all practical purposes chemically inert with U and Mo. However, a separate interaction layer has been experimentally observed between the Mg meat and Al cladding, which has not resulted in any failures in the laboratory, but may be problematic in-reactor. Meso-scale simulations have been performed to provide best estimates of the thermal material properties. Thermodynamic modelling provides predictions of secondary phase formation, such as the beta and gamma phases represented by the Mg/Al interaction layers. Finally, continuum scale simulations are informed by meso- and thermodynamic-scales to provide thermal predictions under a variety of conditions. This multi-scale multi-physics framework continues to provide guidance for an on-going experimental campaign of U-Mo/Mg fuels with irradiation testing planned in the near future.