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Post-irradiation characterization of a high burnup mixed oxide fuel rod with minor actinides


The Advanced Fuels Campaign performed a series of irradiation tests of minor actinide-bearing mixed oxide fuel (MA-MOX), the so-called AFC-2C&D experiments, to investigate the transmutation of long-lived transuranic actinide isotopes contained in spent nuclear fuel via fast reactor technology at burnups exceeding 10 % fission of initial metallic atoms. This manuscript reports the test results derived from one of the five MA-MOX rodlets taken to higher burnup in the AFC-2D irradiation. This includes both non-destructive investigations, such as gamma and neutron spectrometry, and destructive investigations, such as fission gas release, ceramography, and chemical burnup analysis. In addition, the microstructure of the fuel was investigated using advanced electron microscopy techniques including electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). It was observed with EBSD that the pellet had subdivision of the grains and the TEM observed migration of cladding material into the 5 metal precipitates in the fuel which could have been from the higher than desired oxygen/metal ratio. The TEM also showed an enrichment of Cr in fuel clad chemical interaction (FCCI) layer.

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