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Fuel Technology for Power Water Reactor


Theoretical Substantiation of Vacancy Doping Oxide Fuel for its Deep Burn Up into PWR

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-MAT/Materials and Materials Conversion/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-FUC/Fuel Cycle/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-NOT/Nuclear and Other Technical Data/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow


  • Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) / West, USA, ID, Idaho Falls

Project summary

In developing methods for designing reactor materials applied to a nuclear fuel, there is formulated a task for micro-structural suppressing the swelling of oxide fuel caused the vacancy origin of macroscopic defects (clusters, units, pores, bubbles, and cracks). This is denoted the numerous data on the oxide fuel under the action of neutrons and fission fragments. Pores are formed and grow due to diffusive drain of mobile radio-induced vacancies into them from the over saturated (under an irradiation) solid solution of vacancies in the fuel and the surface tension of pores is counterbalanced by the pressure of gaseous fission products.

The purpose of project is a search of impurity additives in the oxide fuel forming equilibrium vacancies in the crystal lattice of high concentration in order to create a fuel not sensible to radio-induced vacancies and having minimal over saturation of them in the solid solution of oxide fuel.

In having high volume density of equilibrium vacancy-type defects, such the fuel should absorb effectively solid and gaseous fission products preventing the fuel from growth of pores and bubbles.

Solved Problems:

1. Computer modeling the microstructure and atomic dynamics of radio-defective oxide fuel which assumes:

- obtaining numerical data on evolution of micro-defects into the nuclear fuel as a mixture (solid solution) of oxides under action of neutrons and fission fragments;
- development of mathematic model for structural transformations of the solid matrix of fission material.

2. Theoretical proving the promotion of structural and composition stability of the oxide fuel in raising the concentration of equilibrium vacancies in the crystal lattice. This needs:

- proving a positive role of the equilibrium vacancies exceeding the concentration of radio-induced vacancies in the crystal lattice of fuel;
- optimizing a choice of additives raising the solubility of vacancies in the oxide fuel relating to the pressure water reactor.

3. Substantiation of the concept for designing the oxide fuel on the given attributes including the type of additive, its concentration in the solid solution, the average size of grains in ceramic fuel.

4. The analysis of the obtained results for correcting the subsequent calculations and numerical experiments.

The commercially significant overall results of activities can be the designer and technological documentation for developing the technical proposals on technology for producing the vacancy-doped oxide fuel for PWR.

The activity is completed by the issue of documentation covered in a report of calculation results and prepared file of input data for further usage in different stages in developing the technology for vacancy doping the oxide fuel.


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